The five year, £750m redevelopment of Birmingham New Street was one of the UK’s largest and most complex redevelopment projects in recent times. It involved integrated refurbishment of the train station in central Birmingham - the busiest interchange station in the UK - 43 shops at concourse level and the new Grand Central shopping complex above, housing one of the UK’s largest John Lewis department stores. Building work began in 2010, and in April 2013 the first phase of the revamp opened, including half of the new concourse. When completed next year it will be three-and-a-half times bigger than the one it replaces. The next stage will see the demolition and removal of 6,000 tonnes of concrete from the building. That meant the removal of concrete about the same size as Wembley Stadium. Two holes will be cut out of the roof and floor of the Pallasades shopping centre to allow natural light to filter through a new 114ft (35m) high atrium on top of the station. It will be first time the station will be lit in that way for 40 years. Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, said the revamp would create a "world-class station". The completion of the project will leave New Street, which opened in 1967, with more than 30 new escalators and 15 public lifts. The work will also see the shopping centre above the station refurbished. Named Grand Central, it will feature about 40 shops, including the flagship John Lewis store, and 20 restaurants. Network Rail said it would create up to 1,000 jobs. The organisation said more than 50 million people were expected to pass through the station and shopping centre each year. Mick Miller, senior sponsor for the project from Network Rail, said this scheme was "one of the most complex construction projects over a live railway in Europe". He said it would have been simpler to complete the work by closing the station but it was not practical because it was the busiest English station outside London. Mr Miller said it would also aid the regeneration of the Southside area of Birmingham as analysis suggested footfall would increase there after the opening of the new stores at the station.

MPB undertook a wide range of works this £750m mega project. Starting on site as an RC subcontractor to Volker Fitzpatrick with a contract value of £250k, the performance and capability of MPB was soon recognised by the client (Network Rail) and management contractor (MACE) and further packages of work were single sourced to MPB directly.

Works comprised of:

  • Significant structural alterations – demolition and reconstruction of existing structure involving the placement of 400m3 of concrete and the design and installation of temporary propping to maintain the global stability of the building.
  • Installation of new steel/concrete composite mezzanine floors within the existing building totaling 650m2
  • Demolition and reconstruction of life expire concrete carpark for use as office space
  • Installation of cathodic protection to chloride existing concrete structures
  • External works including 15,000m2 of granite paving, anti-terrorist measures and external ductwork and drainage
  • Groundworks (including tunnel spanning/supporting RC ground slab and new opening into existing tunnel) and rock stabilisation works for new TOC accommodation
  • Platform level refurbishment (including paving, tactile paving and drainage)
  • 100+ concrete repairs to the existing structure
  • Formation of 120 riser openings within the existing structure (including structural steelwork and demolition of existing slabs)
  • Installation of post tensioned macalloy stability ties within atrium area to
  • Significant RC works throughout the station
  • Peaking at 150 operatives and staff on site (including planners, project management staff and engineers)

 Key Challenges/Successes:

All works carried out on the New Street project faced significant challenges working at the busiest transport interchange outside of London whist always maintaining full functionality of the station. MPB worked closely with other trade contractors and the PC MACE to sequence works as to maximise the available access whilst minimising disruption to the station.

This scheme demonstrates the capability of the MPB Rail team to manage a larger value schemes over a longer programme duration. The project consisted of wide ranging types of work further illustrating the ability of MPB to tackle all forms of civil engineering works in the railway environment and station enviroments. 




Mace /Network Rail






Mutli Package Including: Reinforced Concrete Refurbishment, Groundworks, External Works, Hard Landscaping, Civil Engineering


workers on average on site, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, increasing to 3,500 at the end


seconds between trains arriving and departing - the busiest UK station outside London


was the cost of the project


amount of material recycled on the project