Network Rail, Bristol City Council, West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and English Heritage have come together to sign a 25-year memorandum of understanding to drive the redevelopment of Bristol Temple Meads station today.

This move marks the commitment between all the key partners to significantly transform the station as the city’s transport hub and an iconic gateway befitting a progressive city and a growing railway. The shared vision is integral to Bristol’s Enterprise Zone’s regeneration and Network Rail’s transformation strategy for the Western route.

Patrick Hallgate, route managing director, Network Rail Western, said: “Our plans for Bristol will see the railway significantly transformed by the end of the decade, with more seats, better connections and more frequent services. This is a golden opportunity for the station to be part of this exciting plan so that it can continue to serve the growing numbers of people who want to travel by rail. The progressive city of Bristol deserves an iconic transport gateway that meets the needs of the Enterprise Zone. The common purpose demonstrated by all the key partners will be vital to help drive the vision for Bristol Temple Meads forward.”

Bristol mayor, George Ferguson, said: “A redeveloped Temple Meads is crucial to the success of Bristol’s Enterprise Zone and to the city and region as a whole. At the moment, the station suffers with congestion, overcrowding and does not give the best possible welcome to the city. It’s vital we all work together to ensure we are able to get a flagship station that is fit for purpose and able to meet all of our needs.”

West of England LEP chair, Colin Skellett, said: “We need Temple Meads to become a 21st century transport interchange that can connect people with their onward journey, whether it’s getting on a bus, into a taxi, car, bicycle or simply on foot. The LEP is working closely with the rail industry to help turn this historic and well-loved station into a world-class gateway.”

HCA head of area, David Warburton, said: “Formalising our partnership working with this 25-year agreement is a public commitment to the redevelopment of the station. We have a shared goal of an enhanced railway station and modern interchange facility and, by working together, we can deal head-on with any problems that we encounter along the way and ensure delivery of the programme.”

A steering group consisting of members from the LEP, Bristol City Council, Network Rail, HCA and English Heritage has been set up to develop the station transformation strategy. A key priority for the group is agreeing a masterplan vision for the station and to identify potential funding streams to deliver the work.