From education to employment

Sixth form students and Mayor visits White Rose as work progresses on new £26.5 million rail station 

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, is pictured at the White Rose Rail Station construction site with scheme partners and students from Elliott Hudson College.  

A group of Elliott Hudson College students, along with, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, visited White Rose station construction site earlier this week to look at the progress being made on Leeds’ £26.5 million new rail station. 

The new White Rose Rail Station is being delivered in partnership by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Leeds City Council, developer Munroe K, Network Rail and the Department for Transport. 

It is being built between Morley and Cottingley on the Transpennine route, next to the White Rose Park.   

The fully accessible station will make it easier to walk, cycle and use public transport, connecting more people with jobs, training, education, and leisure activities.    

Alongside cycle storage, the scheme also includes better walking and cycling routes between Cottingley, Churwell and Millshaw, as well as the White Rose Shopping Centre and the bus interchange. 

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: 

“We’re determined to create a stronger, fairer and better-connected region so that everybody has the same opportunity to get on in life.  Investing in transport that supports economic growth is absolutely vital.   

“I’m proud that together we’re investing £26.5 million in a new White Rose Rail Station. 

“This investment will bring new opportunities for people in Cottingley, Churwell, Millshaw, Morley and beyond by boosting transport links and local regeneration, including housing and job growth.”  

Students from Elliott Hudson College have taken part in work experience at the rail station to learn more about the scheme and careers in the industry. 

Photo credit: West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Rosie Quashie, Vice Principal at Elliott Hudson College, said: 

“Work experience placements, such as those our students have been able to access at the White Rose Rail Station construction site, are so important.  

“Working with the staff at The Spencer Group has provided our students with a wide range of transferable employability skills and enabled them to gain invaluable experience of the scheme and the different career opportunities in engineering and construction, and this has really supported them in deciding their career destinations after leaving Elliott Hudson College. 

“Many of our students rely on public transport and will benefit from the new station when it opens next year.” 

Photo credit: West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Leeds City Councillor Helen Hayden, Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate, said: 

“I am delighted to see first-hand the progress being made in the construction of Leeds newest Rail Station. The changes when complete will improve access to the city centre for residents in surrounding neighbourhoods, visitors to Leeds and thousands of young people who learn in the city’s schools and colleges each day.  

“It is good to see the realisation of all the transformational schemes across the city, along with improved transport links, provide more opportunities to reduce our city’s carbon impact and support our economic growth.” 

The visit included a first look at the steel frames for the new station buildings, which will house two lifts and the stairs to the station platforms.   

This work follows the installation of the station platforms on the railway line embankment.   

David Aspin, CEO of Munroe K, said:  

“For a long time now I have had the ambition to bring a fully accessible new station to White Rose Park and to see it nearing completion is immensely rewarding. Delivering the UK’s very first railway station through public and private sector partnership has been a real testament to everyone involved. The new station can be the catalyst to unlock real economic development in this area of south Leeds, providing our local communities with better links to education and employment opportunities. Its location at the White Rose Park makes it accessible to many more people living in the area and beyond.”  

Anna Weeks, Principal Programme Sponsor for Network Rail’s North and East Route, said:  

“It is wonderful to see the progress being made on this new, fully accessible station that will unlock travel opportunities for people travelling to White Rose Shopping Centre and White Rose Park, as well as improving connections for local residents travelling to Leeds, Huddersfield, Manchester and beyond. 

  “This investment will hugely benefit the local area and I look forward to the station opening early next year.” 

Photo credit: West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Joe Bennett, Operations Director at Spencer Group, said: 

“We have been working closely with key stakeholders to bring White Rose Rail Station to fruition and as a local contractor are pleased to play our part in helping improve our infrastructure in the North. Over the coming months, the commitment and hard work the partnership and key stakeholders have demonstrated in getting the scheme to this point will be rewarded with significant physical progress on the site. The erection of the lift cores and link bridge walkways, connecting the platform works already undertaken will transform the look of the project and enable people to see the facility for the first time. It is an exciting time for all involved.”   

Construction work started in March 2022 and is currently due to complete later this year.  

The new station will replace Cottingley Rail Station and open to passengers in early 2024.   

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