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Cardiff’s Metro Central Interchange New Images Released

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The Metro Delivery Partnership (MDP) the body established to oversee the delivery of Cardiff’s Metro Central Interchange has released early images of the new Transport Interchange ahead of moving on to site later this month.

The new scheme, which is being supported by the Welsh Government, will include 300 apartments specifically designed for the rental market, 80,000 sq ft of Grade A office space and a Bus Station with 14 stands and ancillary services.

The Welsh Government recently acquired the Interchange site from Cardiff Council for £12m and as part of the deal also acquired the rights to the original design information, including transport planning, ground conditions, utility information and architectural principles for a further £3m.

Welsh Economy and Transport Secretary, Ken Skates said:

“Our vision is to create a modern, integrated metro network which puts users right at its heart.  Working with our partners we want to provide world class, accessible public transport for all that can encourage modal shift and be the spark for inclusive economic growth right across the wider region.

“The Cardiff Central interchange is key to this vision and we are pleased to have been able to support the progression of this vital project by stepping in to acquire the site. Proactive Welsh Government support of this kind to stimulate strategic transport interchange sites and help attract wider investment is a model I’m exploring in other areas of Wales, too.”

Councillor Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff Council said:

“I am excited by the prospect of delivering a city wide integrated transport solution that includes bus, and rail as well as cycle and active travel routes.  It is these components working together that will deliver the shared vision for the South Wales Metro, which will also help identify solutions to the current challenges of congestion and clean air issues.  The formation of the Metro Delivery Partnership is a forward looking and ambitious act of faith in the partners combined ability to deliver the kind of transport system the city and the region needs.”

Rightacres Chief Executive, Paul McCarthy said:

”The new Cardiff Central Transport Interchange scheme produced by Cardiff based architect HMA is sympathetic to the other buildings designed by architects Foster + Partners, and is based on the prior investment in the original design concepts.

“One of the factors that’s held back the progress of this development was the cost of relocating some of the existing services in the ground.   This has meant a design change but not at the expense of the performance or visual quality of the building.

“The key element to making this a best in class Bus Station is to have a ground floor foot print that maximises the number of departures per hour supported by high quality and well maintained passenger facilities. World leading transport consultants AECOM, ARUP and Steer Davies Gleave have been engaged to ensure that the new Interchange delivers on this”.

The new bus station will be one of the first major infrastructure projects operated directly by the Welsh Government’s not for profit subsidiary Transport for Wales.  It will pave the way for a fully integrated, multi modal transport hub at the core of the new Metro system.

The recently formed Metro Delivery Partnership which is made up of the Welsh Government, Cardiff Council, Rightacres and Network Rail is delivering a number of transport related projects which includes  a new 700 space multi story car park, a purpose built taxi rank and coach station as part of Rightacres Central Quay scheme on the Brains Brewery site.

There will also be 500 cycle spaces north of the railway at Central Square and an additional cycle hub to the south of the station

The Metro Delivery Partnership have recently submitted proposals to the UK Government seeking financial support for a major modernisation and upgrade of Cardiff Central railway station.  The enhanced station capacity and improved user experience will place the station at the heart of the wider Cardiff Central interchange and in support of the funding proposal the business case sent to UK Government highlights the significant public and private investment already committed to the wider project.

“Funding projects on this scale is challenging” says Paul McCarthy Chief Executive of Cardiff based developer Rightacres Property.

“And the kind of investment needed  is only deliverable when we can present institutional investors with a formula that gives them a fair return on their money.

“To do that, and specifically in relation to the proposed Interchange building, we need to achieve a number of objectives. The primary objective is of course to deliver a world class multi modal transport interchange  within a vibrant commercial location. Then we need to get the right mix of uses into the building. In this case, the ground floor will clearly be dedicated to the Bus Station and its  related uses. Then it’s about generating value from the airspace that will go towards paying for the site.

“This scheme now addresses the site constraints and meets the requirements of our end users and we are in the final stages of agreeing the funding for the whole project.

“We are already working with the construction team and will be moving on to site next week. Completion is scheduled for 2020” said Mr McCarthy.