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RDG: Station investment driving economic growth in local areas

Investment in stations worth £5.2bn has been crucial to spearheading economic growth in local areas, new analysis released by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has found.

The RDG’s findings revealed that station regeneration was influential in boosting the local economy by acting as a focal point for growth and regeneration, creating jobs, stimulating housebuilding and reinvigorating public services.

And six stations, Birmingham New Street, Bromsgrove, Burnham-on-Crouch, Swansea, Wakefield Westgate and Wokingham which have been revamped at a cost of £800m were highlighted as ‘templates’ for regeneration in the report.

The report, called ‘Regenerating Britain’s railway stations: a six-point plan’ also sets out the benefits of collaborative working and investment between the rail industry and local communities to deliver integrated and sustainable improvements.

“Stations are ‘gateways’ at the heart of many neighbourhoods, with a unique potential to create new amenities such as cafes, artists’ studios and farmers’ markets, as well as facilities for community, training and cultural activities and even electric car charging points”, the report reads. 

“Investment in a regenerated station can increase confidence among potential investors by providing a focus for development and improvements to stations can help to foster local entrepreneurial spirit and innovation, such as by creating new retail space around in and around the station.”

RDG researchers also discovered that investment at Manchester Piccadilly had been a catalyst for a new refurbished office space being built, whilst three years after Sheffield station’s redevelopment there has been a 67% increase in total rateable value within the 400m are around the station.

“Everyone has the right to new opportunities delivered by a better railway,” said Paul Plummer, chief executive of the RDG. “Together with local communities the railway is making significant investment in a new generation of iconic, design-led transport hubs, which help make towns and cities stronger.

“With a regular flow of people, some of whom may not intend to even catch a train, railway stations can be ideal places for all sorts of local businesses and services.

“Stations of the future need to adapt to meet rising customer expectations. Those highlighted in this report show how we are reinvesting for today and tomorrow, spreading wealth across Britain, protecting local communities for the future and making local economies stronger and fairer,” Plummer concluded.

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