The latest artist's impression of the Lime Street Gateway entrance to Liverpool, soon to be enjoyed by rail passengers, has been released by the Homes & Communities Agency.
The project is currently on site with Balfour Beatty Regional Civil Engineering having recently been appointed to construct a new area of public space at the front of the station.
The complex scheme required a compulsory purchase order to remove retailers from shops in front of the station that have now been demolished.
The design for the new space by Glenn Howells Architects uses slopes and steps to address the difference in levels from the station concourse to Lime Street itself, and will help to create a more direct pedestrian link to the city centre. It includes seating areas, an area of lime tree planting, and feature lighting to highlight the station's arched façade. Artist Simon Faithful has been commissioned to design a series of etchings, which will be incorporated in the glazing to the station arches and in the surrounding paving. The paving materials will be natural to reflect the setting of the gateway overlooking the city's Cultural Quarter.
Work on dismantling Concourse House and the row of shops that have obscured Lime Street Station's listed Victorian arched gable end since the 1960s was started by North West-based demolition contractor Walter Forshaw in July 2008, and is now close to completion.
Forshaw's demolition work has received positive feedback from the Considerate Constructors Scheme, an independent initiative by the construction industry to encourage 'best practice beyond statutory requirements', based on its consideration of three main measures of performance – the environment, the workforce and the public.
Eliot Lewis-Ward, the Homes and Communities Agency's Area Director, said: "This has been a hugely complex programme and we would like to thank users of the station and the local business community for their patience and also for their continued support for the project.
"We are also delighted that the demolition aspect of the project has received industry recognition for its good working practices.
"Our focus has always been firmly on opening up the front of the station, complementing St George's plateau and transforming the landscape of this part of the city. We are confident that the outcome is going to be a major improvement for the city."
Partners involved in the project include Liverpool Vision, the HCA (formerly English Partnerships), Liverpool City Council, Network Rail and Merseytravel. Funding came from the European Regional Development Fund, English Partnerships, the North West Development Agency and the Railways Heritage Trust.
Completion of the project is due in spring 2010.