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Last Updated: Monday, 7 January 2008, 17:45 GMT
New Street revamp moves closer
Plans for New Street Station
Plans include new retail space and demolishing tower blocks
The go-ahead for the redevelopment of Birmingham's New Street station should be given in April, the minister for the West Midlands has said.

Liam Byrne said issues over financing the deal would be resolved by the end of the first quarter of this year.

Negotiations stalled because Birmingham City Council and the Department for Transport wanted clarification over who would have to pay if costs overrun.

Plans to revamp New Street at a cost of £550m were unveiled in February 2006.

In July the government announced £128m of funding towards the project to transform the station.

A meeting to discuss the plans is to be held at the Department for Transport on 21 January.

Mr Byrne, MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill, said: "We are not only talking about just building New Street station but regeneration of a big chunk of the city centre."

'Dotting Is'

The city council has said it should not be expected to pay for any problems relating to the rail part of the project, and the DfT said it did not want to fund any delays with the retail space or housing.

However, Mr Byrne said that the Chief Secretary to the Treasury had made it very clear that the finance would be made available from the government.

Under the plans, the station look will be improved by opening up the interior and bringing in natural light, while platforms will be extended to accommodate longer trains.

It is hoped the re-developed station will act as a catalyst for economic growth and development in the region, creating an estimated 2,200 to 3,200 jobs.

Longer trains could relieve overcrowding while the station's capacity will be increased by 50%.



SEE ALSO
New Street £128m funding unveiled
24 Jul 07 |  West Midlands
New look for 'ugly' New Street
24 Jul 07 |  West Midlands
Railways strategy outlined to MPs
24 Jul 07 |  UK Politics
New Street petition going to MPs
22 Nov 06 |  West Midlands
Skyscraper plan for city station
30 Aug 06 |  West Midlands
New Street's £500m plans revealed
16 Feb 06 |  West Midlands

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