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Funding confirmed for York project

Words: Laura Edgar
York Central CGI - Museum station square / Homes England

Homes England and Network Rail have announced an investment of £77 million into York’s city centre quarter regeneration development to help unlock housing and infrastructure. 

The funding is subject to the development being granted planning approval and has been allocated from the Housing Infrastructure Fund.

The project seeks to enable infrastructure to be delivered to connect the site to the surrounding area, including a bridge over the East Coast mainline rail route. There are currently “significant” access problems. 

Up to 3,705 homes are planned for the brownfield site, as well as 1.2 million square feet of commercial development, comprising 80 per cent of grade A office space. 

Investment in the York Central project was initially announced in the March Budget (pdf).

A ‘reserved matters’ planning application for the first phase has already been submitted to City of York Council. It comprises a new main road entrance to the development site; a new bridge over the East Coast Main Line; cycling and pedestrian routes; improved existing and new drainage systems; and to provide critical landscaping as the beginning of the new public park. 

Homes England and Network Rail will assume responsibility for the infrastructure investment from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). 

The government’s housing agency and Network Rail have so far supported the development through the land acquisition and masterplanning stages. Thye hope that work can start on site in 2021.

Simon Dudley, interim chair at Homes England, said: “This investment is a clear signal of the government’s commitment to levelling up across the country by providing much needed homes and employment space in York. The confirmation of funding provides that market with some much-needed certainty around a major strategic site at a time when it is planning ahead to recover from the pandemic.”

Keith Aspden, leader of City of York Council, added: “The funding is a vital step to unlocking a £1.16 billion boost to our economy and delivering a new generation of better paid jobs and hundreds of affordable homes, at a time when York needs it most. The scheme will also set new standards for sustainable living and clean growth, utilising brownfield land in the heart of the city.”

York Central is being brought forward by a partnership comprising Homes England, Network Rail, the City of York Council and the National Railway Museum.

Image credit | Homes England