New milestone for High Speed 2 vision

The firm responsible for the Sydney Opera House has been appointed to carry forward Leeds City Council’s vision for HS2.

Consultant Arup, which has a stunning reputation for dealing with major projects, are teaming up with acclaimed Gehl Architects to deliver the master plan.

Together the two firms will form a formidable team ensuring Leeds is ready to make the most of HS2 in terms of economic and regeneration benefits, while connecting opportunities with surrounding communities.

Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists offering a multi-disciplinary team with experience undertaking major developments both in the UK and abroad.

Based in Copenhagen, Gehl Architects’ ambitious portfolio has focused on improving the quality of urban life by re-orienting city design towards people.

Plans, which should be completed by the end of year, will explore location and footprint of a cutting-edge railway station as well as how it would connect with the existing station.

As well as identifying the size of the station along with car parks and associated public transport interchanges, including the trolley-bus, buses, pedestrian and cycle access it will propose design principles and images of the station.

The ambition is to create a world-class arrival space and interchange both in terms of design and ease of access while the need for car travel to the station is reduced.

Leeds City Council executive member for transport and economy, Councillor Richard Lewis, said:

“The redevelopment of the South Bank area of Leeds will be the biggest change the city centre has seen in more than 100 years. It is absolutely vital we shape it in the right way because people will have to live with what happens over the next few decades for many generations to come.

“This is a huge and very exciting opportunity and it is essential to get top-class consultants on board to ensure that potential is realised. Arup is a prestigious organisation with a stellar reputation and Gehl have an ethos which is very much in line with our aspirations for the city. For such a major project it is clear that we need to have the best people creating a master plan for Leeds.”

Ongoing work around HS2 also includes a Leeds city region growth strategy providing an economic case for High Speed Rail from the perspective of Leeds city region.Plus a Leeds city region connectivity report that will ensure region’s transport networks are ready for the arrival of HS2.

Jerome Frost OBE, Project Director at Arup, said:

“Leeds Southbank represents a tremendous opportunity for Leeds. It is a key area for future growth and the arrival of HS2 will help to accelerate this. The Arup team is looking forward to bringing our global expertise to develop a visionary plan to support regeneration and economic uplift and create efficient transport and pedestrian links. Arup has a strong history of working successfully with Leeds City Council and we are excited to be taking this master plan forward.”


For media enquiries please contact:

Dan Johnson,

Leeds City Council press office,

Tel 0113 247 5472

Email: daniel.johnson2@leeds.gov.uk