Large new office blocks could be developed as part of a £200 million plan to transform the area around Leicester’s railway station.
Part of the station’s car park could be built on with lost spaces replaced by a new multi-storey car park while the former Royal Mail depot in Campbell Street has been earmarked for a major overhaul.
Leicester City Council says it is working with Network Rail, which owns the station, and East Midland Trains, on fresh proposals which have been outlined in its newly published 15 year transport strategy.
The authority hopes the wider vision for the area will build upon the £22 million proposal to spin the station building itself on its axis moving the main entrance from London Road to station Street.
This is intended to free up the Victorian port-cochere for the opening of new pubs, cafes, restaurants and shops.
Council bosses say the station, as it is, is underperforming, and ripe for major investment.
The council believes new office space is still needed, despite the growing trend of companies having staff work from home permanently which has been triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A city council spokesman said: “Leicester rail station is underperforming compared with similar cities, and requires a complete upgrade.
“Transformation of the railway station would form part of a major area based regeneration scheme proposed by the council including new office and related development.
“Together these schemes would make a substantial impact on the city economy and also create an exciting new gateway into the city.
“Funding for the scheme has yet to be secured and the scheme will involve phased delivery using resources available through the rail industry, Government and local funding sources.”
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Leicester mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “The potential in the area around our railway station has been talked about for years.
“Now we are getting some momentum towards achieving our ambitions.
“It has always been complicated because of land ownership but we have been having very useful discussions with key partners in the area.
“Everyone recognises that Leicester is just an hour’s journey from London St Pancras International and that provides huge opportunities.”
Sir Peter added: “There are redundant buildings near the station which could be repurposed and then there is the station car park itself.
“The aim will always be that the car park adequately serves the needs of the station but we know that it is possible to create a new multi-storey to compensate for any lost spaces.
“We have seen how well it has been achieved at the Leicester Royal Infirmary where they have a multi-storey that functions very well.”
The council hopes to hear later this year whether its bid to the Government’s Levelling Up fund has been successful – allowing it to proceed with the first stage of the station revamp.
Last year a similar city council bid for Government cash to kickstart the regeneration failed.