Manchester Victoria station to get £20m new roof

An artist's impression of the new roof for Victoria station
Image caption Network Rail said it hoped the work would be completed by 2014

Plans to install a new £20m roof at Manchester's Victoria Station have been unveiled.

The roof has leaked since 1996, when a bomb believed to have been planted by the IRA exploded in the city centre.

The news comes after funding for a line connecting the Grade II-listed station with Manchester Piccadilly was announced last month.

A public consultation will be held on the plans, but Network Rail hope the work will be completed by 2014.

The Chancellor George Osborne was in Manchester on Thursday to officially approve the plans.

Major interchange

Graham Botham, Programme Sponsor, Network Rail, said: "This is great news for passengers at Victoria.

"The numbers of people using the station could double by 2019, with faster, more frequent trains eventually to Leeds and Liverpool as part of the Northern Hub plans, so we need a station that reflects Manchester's vibrant city centre.

"Our plans see Victoria transformed by the end of 2014, acting as a further catalyst in an area where the Co-operative Group is regenerating 20 acres of land around the station.

"That's why we have been working so closely with the city council and English Heritage to resolve any planning issues resulting from the station's listed status."

The proposed roof will be made of ETFE - the material used at Piccadilly station and the Eden Project.

It is part of a wider plan to improve rail services in Manchester called the Northern Hub, which would see Victoria being transformed into a major interchange.

The full Northern Hub improvements would also mean four fast trains every hour between Liverpool and Manchester and six between Manchester and Leeds.

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