Work to start ahead of Leicester railway station pub demolition

Artist's impression of new railway station
Station Street will be permanently closed to traffic and replaced with a new pedestrianised open space

Work to demolish a 1930s art deco pub is due to begin ahead of the redevelopment of Leicester railway station.

The Parcel Yard, in London Road, will be knocked down to create space for the station's main entrance to be relocated.

Contractors are due to take over the building on Monday.

Internal works and surveys will be carried out before the building is brought down in late spring.

Leicester City Council said the work would allow the façade of the station building "to be revealed and restored to its Victorian glory".

'Vibrant gateway'

City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: "Leicester's railway station is a landmark historic building but, as an important transport hub, it needs a radical overhaul to meet the needs of a modern city the size of Leicester.

"[The project] will help transform the area into a vibrant gateway and make a vital contribution to Leicester's future growth and prosperity."

The Parcel Yard was previously given a stay of execution by city councillors, who delayed a decision on allowing it to be knocked down.

However the demolition was approved after officials warned delays could add to the cost of the scheme.

Parcel yard building
The Parcel Yard (to the right of the Thomas Cook statue) closed in 2023

Rail services to and from Leicester will be unaffected by the demolition works, which will be carried out by AR Demolition.

Pedestrian access to the railway station will continue as normal during the works, and the railway station car park will also stay open.

However, traffic restrictions will be in place on Station Street from Monday, meaning access there will be limited to essential vehicles only.

The council's redevelopment project is being carried out in partnership with East Midlands Railway and Network Rail.

The project does not yet have full planning permission in place, but looks set to turn the existing covered entrance hall area into a new plaza for shopping, food and drinks.

Artist's impression of new railway station
An artist's impression shows the proposal for a new station entrance

The station entrance would also move from London Road to Station Street, which will permanently close to traffic and be replaced with a new pedestrianised open space.

A total of £17.6m of funding has been secured for the project from the government's Levelling Up Fund.

The money needs to be spent by March 2025 or it could be lost.

Demolition work is expected to be completed by summer 2024 and construction works are due to follow shortly after, the city council said.

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