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Birmingham New Street cladding begins

Work has begun to install 8,000 reflective stainless steel panels around Birmingham New Street station. Eventually these panels will cover the entire building, due for completion in 2015.

The first panels will be laid on the north side of the building and the new northwest corner above Stephenson Street, before progressing in a broadly anti-clockwise direction around the station.

Chris Montgomery, project director at Network Rail, said: “The redevelopment of New Street will transform the station for the thousands of passengers who use it every day and allow it to handle the ever increasing numbers of people who want to use the railways.

“The start of work on the façade is significant as it’s the first step towards delivering a stunning new building which through new retail, public space and better access will stimulate regeneration and create hundreds of new jobs in the heart of Birmingham.”

Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council said: “The start of work on New Street's stunning new façade marks an important step forward into transforming the building into a landmark Birmingham can be proud of. This is a vital project for the city, providing for future passenger growth, stimulating economic growth and regeneration and, in the newly-named Grand Central, it will provide one of the best-connected retail spaces in the country.”

Transport minister Simon Burns said: “Birmingham New Street railway station has long had a reputation for being dingy and unwelcoming and in recent years it has become clear it is struggling to cope with the unprecedented growth in passenger numbers.

“That is why the Government has contributed £160m towards transforming the station into a modern, bright 21st century gateway for Birmingham. The unveiling of these new panels offers passengers an exciting glimpse at the redevelopment of the station, a major construction project in its own right and a key enabler of economic growth.”

Cllr John McNicholas, chairman of transport authority Centro, added: “It's fantastic to see the outside of what will be an iconic building, start to take shape. This new station, with a Midland Metro tram link stopping right outside, will give West Midlands passengers the high quality public transport they need and deserve.”

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