Wakefield Westgate Station Redevelopment

Case Study icon
Wakefield Westgate Station Redevelopment

Wakefield Westgate is a medium sized station, situated on the Leeds branch of the East Coast Mainline. To visitors it provides access to the city of Wakefield, and to citizens it provides connectivity to Leeds in 15 minutes, and London in 2 hours. Additionally, it serves as a key interchange between the train operators of Virgin Trains East Coast, Cross Country, and Northern services.

Before redevelopment the station provided poor facilities for customer service and capacity, inadequate access for mobility-impaired users, and a generally poor image as a gateway for the city of Wakefield.

Replacing inadequate facilities for the city, the new Wakefield Westgate is a significantly rebuilt station on the East Coast Mainline. Fresh and modern facilities provide fully compliant safe access to platforms, a dramatic increase in concourse space, new customer information facilities, and provision of new commercial retail spaces to increase user satisfaction.

Combined with the adjacent Merchant Gate development, the local area has been redeveloped to provide a high quality gateway facility for visitors, citizens, and potential business arriving by train.

The estimated Benefit Cost Ratio for the station project works was 3.43 which is considered high Value for Money.

Key Statistics

Location: Wakefield Westgate Railway Station
Key Stakeholders:
  • Network Rail
  • Wakefield City Council
  • English Cities Fund
  • East Coast
  • Northern
  • Cross Country
Construction start date: March 2013
Construction completion date: December 2013
Cost: Project AFC: c. £8.6m

Sources of funding



Stations Commercial Project Facility (Fund): £7.614m
English Cities Fund (Third Party): £1m

Rationale for Investment

  • There was no long-term strategy for the existing 1960s built main station building which offered little space and poor, dated décor.
  • The Station offered poor access to Platform 2, with a footbridge in poor repair.
  • Non-compliance on step-free access; those with reduced mobility and buggies had to use an unsafe barrow crossing.
  • No toilet facilities on Platform 2.
  • Inadequate and poorly positioned waiting room facilities.
  • No customer information facilities.
  • Offered a poor gateway facility for the City of Wakefield.

Scheme objectives

  • To provide Wakefield with a new welcoming gateway to the city.
  • To improve ticket retailing and commercial retail facilities for all train customers.
  • To complement the new 1500-space multi storey car park delivered by the Merchantgate centre.
  • To complement refurbished customer facilities on platform 2, being delivered as a £434k project from the National Stations Improvement Fund (from the DfT).
  • To provide modern step-free access and interchange between platforms.
  • To improve revenue protection for train operators.
  • To improve forecourt, pedestrian, and cycle access through relocation of the station building and building a new forecourt, vehicle, pedestrian, and cycle access off the inner- ring road – providing better connection to local bus routes to enhance sustainable transport integration.

Appraisal and selection

Scheme Development

  • English Cities Fund working with Network Rail, Wakefield Council, Train operators and local stakeholders to invest in local area to station.
  • Aspiration for a fitting transport gateway to redevelopment area, Wakefield, and the region with a new station included in the masterplan for new ‘Merchantgate’.
  • Phase 1: Delivered 2010, including new Highway Infrastructure, multi-storey car park, 50,000 sq ft office space, 40,000 sq ft retail/ leisure and residential development.
  • Phase 2: Underway when station funding application submitted; deliver 123,000 sq ft office space.
  • SCPF identified as potential funding source, with English Cities Fund providing £1m.

Scheme prioritisation

After application for the SCPF funds, all SCPF bids for the round of investment were reviewed by a Steering Group with representatives from the DfT and Network Rail.

The Steering Group then presented each bid to a SCPF Awards Panel, with participants from DfT, Network Rail, and Association for Train Operating Companies, for the Panel members to determine the successful applications.

Business case development

Due to the funding source from a DfT fund, the business case here was prepared by Network Rail, supported by Wakefield City Council and the English Cities Fund, with the Train Operator acting as client. The Benefit Cost Ratio for the station project works came to 3.43.

Scheme Delivery

Tendered for market delivery through standard Network Rail’s Infrastructure Projects processes.

The new station delivery site stood as cleared, with new access roads and infrastructure present so delivery had little to no impact on existing operations and reduced risks.

Evaluating the Investment

Timing of activity          

  • Good: the scheme performed well in timing

Project delivery

  • Good: the scheme was delivered to budget

Stakeholders and partnership working

  • Good: the scheme was built in collaboration with wider redevelopment strategies and local authority aspirations.


Wakefield Westgate Station Redevelopment involved a £8.6 million package of improvements providing fresh and modern facilities provide fully compliant safe access to platforms, a dramatic increase in concourse space, new customer information facilities, and provision of new commercial retail spaces to increase user satisfaction. The expected economic return on investment is estimated at £3.43 for each £1 spent.

Submit your Case Study

If you have a case study that you would like to be included on the Hub, please submit it using this form.