Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Monday, 29 March 2010 16:58 UK

Princess Anne officially opens Metro station revamp

Princess unveils revamped station

The Princess Royal has officially opened Newcastle's redeveloped Haymarket Metro station.

Princess Anne rode on the Metro from Jesmond before unveiling a commemorative plaque.

She was cheered by 50 flag-waving children from Walkergate Primary School as she cut a ribbon to declare the station open.

Chairman of the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority David Wood said the visit was a great honour.

He said: "The station has been transformed and is now a fabulous gateway into the centre of Newcastle."

The princess chatted to a busker and representatives from Metro operator Nexus, civic dignitaries and passengers while at the opening.

The project has seen the Haymarket station rebuilt, with a retail and leisure hub replacing the existing station structure, which first opened to passengers in 1980 when the Tyne and Wear Metro first started running.

Nexus has secured £350m from the government to modernise the Metro system, including stations and trains.

The Haymarket scheme, which was privately funded, will serve as a blueprint for other Metro station redevelopments in the future.

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