Major milestone as work is set to begin at York Central

York Central Masterplan CGI

Homes England has entered into a contract with John Sisk and Son Ltd to deliver over £100m of vital infrastructure at York Central

Homes England has today confirmed that John Sisk and Son Ltd are to deliver over £100m of critical infrastructure at York Central. With work expected to begin imminently, this marks another significant milestone for unlocking the city-centre brownfield site, which has been stalled for more than forty years.

York Central is one of the UK’s largest regeneration sites. Situated at the heart of the city adjacent to York Station, the 45 hectare site offers a unique opportunity to transform underused brownfield land into a vibrant and distinctive new mixed use neighbourhood – complete with residential, cultural, recreational, commercial and outdoor amenity spaces.

Over the next three years, John Sisk and Son will put in place the key infrastructure needed to enable this transformation. This includes the construction of a new bridge over the East Coast Main Line railway, which features pedestrian and cycle lanes segregated from the carriageway, and a new pedestrian and cycle footbridge will also be added to the existing Water End Bridge.  The new access extends for 2km (with separated cycle and pedestrian paths) to connect Water End through the site to Leeman Road, and a rail spur to the National Railway Museum. John Sisk and Son will also provide the earthworks and utility works for the entire site.

This infrastructure work will make further development at York Central possible, which, when complete, will provide up to 2,500 homes, 20% of which will be affordable, and over 1 million sq. ft. of commercial space for offices, retail and leisure, providing a significant boost for the local economy. It will also see improved connectivity and access, as well as significant high quality public realm and open spaces, including an urban park.

Peter Freeman, Chair of Homes England, said: “This marks a significant moment for York Central. We know what a transformational impact urban regeneration schemes such as this can have on a place and the benefits it will offer York’s community. That’s why we’ve partnered with Network Rail to help unlock this long-stalled site.

“The delivery of crucial infrastructure will help achieve that, bringing ours and our partners’ ambitions for this underutilised area another step closer to reality. It’s brilliant to see the plans starting to come to fruition.”

Paul Brown, Chief Executive Officer at John Sisk and Son, commented: “Sisk is delighted to be involved in this exciting project and to build this major infrastructure in-line with the York Central masterplan. We are committed to delivering this project for the benefit of the whole community and look forward to working in partnership with all the key stakeholders.”

As majority landowners on the site, Homes England and Network Rail are acting as master developers, working in collaboration with the City of York Council and the National Railway Museum.

Robin Dobson, Group Property Director at Network Rail said: “This is a major milestone for this multi-million-pound York Central development. Getting the transformation underway will take us closer to delivering an ambitious new City regeneration and community project, that integrates both road and rail.

“We’re proud to be delivering this regeneration project in partnership with Homes England and look forward to seeing work progress over the next few years. When complete, York Central will reenergise the gateway to the city and unlock opportunities for economic growth across the region. We’re delivering it through a public and private partnership, an approach we are replicating in other towns and cities across the country.”

The funding for the infrastructure works has been secured through the government’s Housing Infrastructure Grant (£77.1m), the City of York Council’s Enterprise Zone Fund (£35m) and from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (£23.5m).

Cllr Keith Aspden, Leader of City of York Council said: “This is another major step forward for York Central, one of the most important and exciting regeneration sites in the country, building on the site preparation works delivered by City of York Council and the partnership.

“It’s excellent news that construction works are moving forward to make the project, which has been a decades long held ambition, into reality. We want to ensure that this positive progress continues to unlock the site’s enormous potential and deliver economic growth, community space and homes that York needs, all within the heart of the city.

“We are working closely with partners in the York Central Partnership to deliver on our shared vision– a regeneration which drives inclusive and green growth across the city. We will continue to keep residents, businesses and communities informed as this project gathers pace and we deliver the exciting plans for the York Central site.”

The contract with Sisk follows news that Homes England and Network Rail has officially launched the procurement process to secure a strategic development partner to bring forward York Central, supported by JLL.