HS2 Ltd has acquired a second major development site paving the way for Manchester’s new high-speed station. Quadrant Transport looks at how the new station will benefit businesses, residents, and visitors.
Reaching an agreement with Bruntwood, one of the UK’s leading property providers, HS2 is to purchase Square One on Travis Street in readiness for the construction of Manchester’s brand-new railway station.
Following its purchase of the Store Street site in April 2021, this new sale marks HS2’s second major property acquisition in the city centre in just over 12 months.
Both sites have been purchased by HS2 on behalf of the Department for Transport and are essential to the creation of the new high-speed station that will be built adjacent to the existing Piccadilly Station.
The sites represent another milestone in bringing high-speed rail to the north
Manchester’s new station is set to open between 2035 and 2040 and includes six platforms at surface level. It will allow passengers to access both HS2 and future NPR services.
In addition to this, the plans also include provision for a new four-platform Metrolink station beneath the HS2 station.
Chief Commercial Officer at HS2, Ruth Todd, said: “Following submission of the Bill earlier this year, seeking powers to construct and operate the railway between Crewe and Manchester, this acquisition represents another major milestone in our programme to bring high-speed rail to the North.
HS2’s purchase of Square One is a vote of confidence for investors locally and internationally to leverage the wider regeneration potential of the surrounding area, knowing that Manchester is set to become so brilliantly connected.
Manchester’s Piccadilly Station is a prime location
Currently, a large proportion of the area surrounding Piccadilly Station is underdeveloped, making it a prime location for investment in new commercial space, housing, and public realm.
The investment would provide businesses, residents, and visitors with a 41-minute connection to Birmingham on HS2 (a 46-minute saving), with direct services from London Euston, set to more than half. It will cut one hour and 12 minutes off the current fastest journey time.
Bruntwood, who sold the Square One site to HS2, has already set out its ambition to use the proceeds to continue investing in the UK’s regional centres.
Asset Management Director at Bruntwood, Pete Bearpark, said: “We are committed to creating thriving places and communities, and after 15 years under Bruntwood stewardship, we have agreed to the sale of Square One and the land surrounding it to HS2 in advance of a formal compulsory purchase process.
We will use the proceeds to continue to reinvest into regional cities to drive economic growth and have a positive impact on businesses and communities.
Early works that will support the construction of the new Piccadilly high-speed station are not set to commence until at least 2025 and HS2 has agreed on leasehold terms with Square One’s existing tenants to enable them to remain until the site is required.