Rail infrastructure specialist Spencer Group is making significant progress on the construction of a £26.5 million station in South Leeds.
Situated between Morley and Cottingley, the White Rose Rail Station will be located on the main trans-Pennine route to Manchester via Huddersfield.
It will be a two-platform station providing improved access to the adjacent White Rose office park, shopping centre and bus interchange.
The fully accessible station will include cycle storage next to the White Rose Park, along with improved walking and cycling routes between Cottingley, Churwell and Millshaw, and the White Rose Shopping Centre and bus interchange.
Hull-based Spencer Group is delivering the project for White Rose owner Munroe K in conjunction with Network Rail, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds City Council and the Department for Transport.
Construction of the new station, which will replace Cottingley Rail Station, is scheduled to be completed later this year and is expected to open in early 2024.
Joe Bennett, Operations Director at Spencer Group, said: “We’ve been working closely with key stakeholders to bring the White Rose Rail Station to fruition and, as a local contractor, are pleased to play our part in helping our infrastructure in the North.
“Over the coming months, the commitment and hard work the partnership and key stakeholders have demonstrated in getting the scheme to this point will be rewarded with significant physical progress on the site.
“The erection of the lift cores and link bridge walkways, connecting the platform works already undertaken, will transform the look of the project and enable people to see the facility for the first time. It’s an exciting time for all involved.”
Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracey Brabin, visited the site to see the progress being made on the project.
The visit included a first look at the steel frames for the new station buildings, which will house two lifts and the stairs to the station platforms. This work follows the installation of the station platforms on the railway line embankment.
Ms Brabin said: “We’re determined to create a stronger, fairer and better-connected region so that everybody has the same opportunity to get on in life. Investing in transport that supports economic growth is absolutely vital.
“I’m proud that together we’re investing £26.5 million in a new White Rose Rail Station.
“This investment will bring new opportunities for people in Cottingley, Churwell, Millshaw, Morley and beyond by boosting transport links and local regeneration, including housing and job growth.”
The scheme has received funding from the Leeds City Region Transforming Cities Fund, the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme and £5 million from the Department for Transport’s New Stations Fund, alongside contributions from Munroe K.
David Aspin, CEO of Munroe K, said: “For a long time now I’ve had the ambition to bring a fully accessible new station to White Rose Park and to see it nearing completion is immensely rewarding.
“Delivering the UK’s very first railway station through public and private sector partnership has been a real testament to everyone involved.
“The new station can be the catalyst to unlock real economic development in this area of south Leeds, providing our local communities with better links to education and employment opportunities. Its location at the White Rose Park makes it accessible to many more people living in the area and beyond.”
Students from nearby Elliot Hudson College have taken part in work experience with Spencer Group at the site to learn more about the project and careers in the industry.
Rosie Quashie, Vice Principal at the college, said: “Work experience placements such as those our students have been able to access at the White Rose Rail Station construction site are so important.
“Working with the staff at Spencer Group has provided our students with a wide range of transferable employability skills and enabled them to gain invaluable experience of the scheme and the different career opportunities in engineering and construction, and this has really supported them in deciding their career destinations after leaving Elliot Hudson College.
“Many of our students rely on public transport and will benefit from the new station when it opens next year.”