HS2 buys major Network Rail offices ahead of construction of new train station

HS2 has acquired a prominent office building occupied by Network Rail ahead of the construction of Manchester's new high speed railway station. The company behind the project, HS2 Ltd, has reached an agreement with property giant Bruntwood to purchase Square One on Travis Street. Square One is a former Parcelforce depot that was bought by Bruntwood in 2002.

: Long-vacant city centre landmark bought for more than GBP16m The deal comes after HS2 acquired the Store Street site in April 2021. Both sites were purchased by HS2, on behalf of the Department for Transport.

They have been described as "pivotal" to the creation of the new high speed station that will be built adjacent to the existing Piccadilly Station. Manchester's new station is forecast to open between 2035 and 2040 and includes six platforms at surface level. The plans also include provision for a new four platform Metrolink station beneath the HS2 station.

Ruth Todd, chief commercial officer at HS2, said: "Following submission of the Bill earlier this year, seeking powers to construct and operate the railway between Crewe and Manchester, this acquisition represents another major milestone in our programme to bring high speed rail to the North. "HS2's purchase of Square One is a vote of confidence for investors locally and internationally to leverage the wider regeneration potential of the surrounding area, knowing that Manchester is set to become so brilliantly connected." Pete Bearpark, asset management director at Bruntwood, added: "We are committed to creating thriving places and communities, and after 15 years under Bruntwood stewardship, we have agreed to the sale of Square One and the land surrounding it to HS2 in advance of a formal compulsory purchase process.

"We will use the proceeds to continue to reinvest into regional cities to drive economic growth and have a positive impact on businesses and communities."

Early works supporting construction of the new Piccadilly high speed station are not forecast to commence until at least 2025.

HS2 has agreed leasehold terms with Square One's existing tenants to enable them to remain in situ until the site is required.