West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) has chosen Willmott Dixon Interiors to lead the £3.6 million refurbishment of Leeds Bus Station.
The fit-out and refurbishment specialist contractor will deliver a significant upgrade to the existing bus station, to provide modern facilities, a new retail unit and improved accessibility for passengers.
The 36-week project comprises the refurbishment of the station concourse, with contemporary, durable wall and floor finishes, replacement lighting and roof ventilation, new passenger seating, and real time information displays and signage.
The travel centre is to be refurbished and made open to the concourse, while the existing drivers’ accommodation will be relocated.
Externally, the entrance canopies will be replaced with larger, more visually attractive canopies and signage.
New wall cladding will be installed to increase visibility of the station and a ramp and steps will be added to the station’s York Street entrance.
Works will be carried out while the bus station, travel centre, retail units and the adjoining Nation Express Coach Station remain in operation, with a maximum of six bus bays taken out of use at any one time.
The project will be delivered by a team including WSP as project manager; Enjoy Design Ltd as architect and principal designer; and Waterman Building Services as structural engineer.
It is the third recent fit-out and refurbishment project to be awarded to Willmott Dixon Interiors in central Leeds and the second on behalf of WYCA. The contractor is currently delivering the modernisation of 48,300 sq ft of office space at the Combined Authority’s headquarters in Wellington House.
Phil Crowther, regional director at Willmott Dixon Interiors, said: “We know just how important a role Leeds Bus Station plays in serving local communities, so it’s vital that it remains at full capacity for passengers during construction. We’ve carefully designed and planned these works to minimise disruption to bus and coach movements and will be carrying out overnight operations for approx. 12 weeks, to maintain power to the facility. Our team is highly experienced at delivering projects in busy, working locations and we’ll be putting measures in place to ensure the safety of the public at all times.”
The refurbishment of Leeds Bus Station has been procured through SCAPE and is targeted to deliver a 14% social return on investment with a minimum of 5% added social value.
Willmott Dixon Interiors will be working with those in the community at different stages of their education and experience by running virtual work experience weeks as well as site tours and site-based placements.
The contractor has committed to offering employability support to young people in collaboration with local youth hubs and will work with WYCA to deliver health and wellbeing activities to support staff and the wider community. It will also partner with the Department for Work and Pensions to offer its Mentoring Circles programme to long-term unemployed people, including guidance and support around careers and life skills.
Cllr Groves at West Yorkshire Combined Authority said: “It is great that work has started on transforming Leeds bus station, focusing on making it a better place for people to visit. Regular commuters know that being able to get from A to B efficiently, especially if you catch two or more buses is essential. The work being carried out to concourses and improvements to signage at Leeds City Bus Station will make navigation much easier. Improvements to the travel centre and to retail will also provide passengers with an overall better experience.”