The contractor is working with Napper Architects. Credit: Willmott Dixon

Willmott Dixon lands £30m station project

The firm has secured the contract from Tees Valley Combined Authority to transform the entrance to Darlington railway station as part of Network Rail’s £140m masterplan.

Willmott Dixon’s work on the enhancement of Darlington’s mainline station also includes a new multi-storey car park integrated within an expanded entrance area, improving this key gateway to the town.

Network Rail will start work later this summer on creating two new platforms to improve rail connections both within the Tees Valley and beyond via the East Coast mainline.

WD’s project team includes Napper Architects and Faithful & Gould as quantity surveyor.

Nick Corrigan, North East director for Willmott Dixon, said of the employment and training opportunities to be made available through the project: “We’re proud to say that, as well as creating a vibrant and transformative new gateway into Darlington, the station development really will be changing lives and creating opportunities for local people.”

Corrigan said that the firm is committed to spending £12m with local supply chain businesses. The firm is also currently working on the Darlington Railway museum’s upgrade and the building of Innovation Central,  a specialist office and lab space for SMEs. Previously, it refurbished Darlington’s Hippodrome Theatre.

The station overhaul is intended to be completed in 2025 in time for the Stockton & Darlington Railway bicentennial celebrations. The scheme has been primed with £33m from the TVCA and more than £100m from central government.

Cllr Stephen Harker, leader of Darlington Council and TVCA board member, said: “I am delighted that work is progressing on this project to transform the station to improve access to Darlington for business and leisure travellers. It will also create much better access into the wider Tees Valley. Upgrading the station will allow us to continue attracting investment to Darlington.”

Other transport projects WD is working on include the radical redevelopment of Stockport Interchange, Halifax bus station and North Tyneside Transport Interchange.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “With hundreds of Government jobs coming to Darlington, the town and its people deserve a modern and vibrant station to provide a gateway to the rest of the great developments on their way. This is another significant milestone and I’m thrilled the station project is steaming ahead.”

Both TVCA and central government funding is being used. Credit: Willmott Dixon

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This is seriously underwhelming. Darlo deserves better and this looks like an inner-city multi-storey in the back streets of Manchester; not the entranceway to one of the UK’s grandest stations.

By Heritage Action

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