Development agreement signed to enable £1.1bn regeneration

Homes England and Network Rail Property have signed a development agreement with McLaren Property and Arlington Real Estate to be strategic development partners for York Central.

This is one of the UK’s largest city centre regeneration schemes.

The development agreement will lead to the transformation of one of the largest brownfield sites in England alongside other partners – the City of York Council and the National Railway Museum.

York Central will involve building 2,500 new homes (20% of which will be affordable) and will create up to one million sq ft of office, retail and hospitality space, along with improvements to the York Railway Station and an enhanced National Railway Museum.

It has the potential to generate up to 6,500 jobs and will help to grow York’s future economy by 20%, by adding £1.1bn GVA to the city.

The one million sq ft of new offices, retail and leisure uses, to the rear of York station, will create a major new employment hub for northern England.

York Central will include a new 17-acre urban park, with 50% of the rejuvenated site set to be green space, along with public squares that will connect the new development to the surrounding neighbourhoods and the adjacent York city centre.

Work is underway on site, preparing it for development, with £135m of infrastructure works currently in progress delivering 2km of new roads including bus lanes, segregated footpaths and cycleways, along with two new bridges.

Leon Guyett, director of regeneration partnerships (York) at Homes England, said: “This marks an important step forward for the York Central project, which will have significant impact on the local area.

“This is a clear example of how Homes England can use its resources and capabilities to bring together public and private sector organisations and make sustainable places possible.

“It is a proud moment in the journey of York Central and we look forward to future collaboration to bring this unique brownfield regeneration opportunity to life.”

Robin Dobson, group property director at Network Rail, said: “York Central is a hugely important scheme and given its scale and significance to the region signing the development agreement is a major step forward.

“Infrastructure is at the centre of York Central’s success – from using our brownfield land to creating a new community delivering investment, jobs, new homes and amazing open space – all that neighbours the rail network.”

Tom Gilman, regional managing director of McLaren Property, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the city and a milestone moment in the delivery of York Central.

“We are committed and passionate about providing much needed new homes, best in class commercial space, along with substantial green space, enhanced public realm and amenities, all of which will bring significant economic benefits and local jobs.”

Allan Cook, founder of Arlington Real Estate, added: “York Central is recognised as one of the largest city centre regeneration schemes in the UK and will deliver huge benefits, not only for the people of York and its visitors, but for the wider economy.

“This is a landmark project and completion of the formal Development Agreement is another significant step forwards.

“Creating a brand-new city quarter right in the heart of York, with its own entrance to one of the UK’s best connected railway stations, is an amazing opportunity.”