The £6m revamp of Metro's Newcastle Central Station has been successfully completed, transforming a key regional gateway.
The station, which is used by 5.3m people a year, has undergone a major redevelopment over the last 18 months, offering passengers a brighter, cleaner, and more modern Metro station. Improvements have been made to disabled access, information displays, and waiting facilities.
The station has also undergone a makeover, getting a new-look colour scheme on new vitreous enamel panels.
An iconic piece of Metro art From The Rivers to the Sea, By Hilary Paynter, which had been located at platform level at Central Metro station, has been moved to a display in the escalator foyer.
The project has been jointly funded, with a £3.5m contribution from the £350m Metro all change modernisation programme, and a £2.5m grant from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund that helps to support economic asset and infrastructure projects across the North East LEP area.
Cllr Nick Forbes, lead member for Transport on the North East Combined Authority and leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “People in Newcastle now have a regional gateway to be truly proud of. The mainline railway station has already been transformed, and now the Metro station scheme is complete, and it looks fantastic.
“Newcastle Central Metro station now has a vibrant new look that is going to give a great first impression to the millions of visitors we see flocking into the city every.”
Newcastle Central MP, Chi Onwurah, said: “This key Metro station in our city centre has been completely transformed with the active participation of passengers – and my constituents. Its new-look complements the redevelopment of the mainline train station. I’m pleased to say people arriving in Newcastle will get a great first impression of our great city form these revamped facilities.”
Director of Rail and Infrastructure at Nexus, Raymond Johnstone, said: “As part of our £350m modernisation programme we are updating Metro stations right across Tyne and Wear, and Newcastle Central Station is the latest one to see the benefits of that investment.
“The concourse and the platforms have been totally transformed and we have improved accessibility for passengers with disabilities. The station’s smart new appearance make it a great place to welcome people into our region.”
David Land, Board Member of the North East LEP, said: “Central Station is a key regional gateway and it’s great to see the completion of the transformation works which have given us a bright, modern and welcoming station for the millions of commuters and visitors who pass through it each year.”
Like Haymarket, which was rebuilt in 2009, the development features a predominantly white interior with feature walls picked out in a pale blue feature colour, helping assist passenger navigation. The new colour scheme was chosen by Metro customers as part of a consultation exercise in early 2015
Improvements to the passenger waiting areas and platforms include new way-finding signage on new vitreous enamel panels. New seating, which includes benches and renewed perch seats, and brighter lighting has been installed along with tactile paving to assist passengers with visual impairments
All three escalators and the two lifts at the station have also been replaced as part of the Metro: all change modernisation programme.
Tolent are the construction contractors who carried out the refurbishment work on behalf of Nexus.