Network Rail, in collaboration with Cardiff Council, Transport for Wales, and Rightacres, has embarked on a masterplanning process for the redevelopment of Cardiff Central Station and its surroundings. This ambitious project aims to transform over 10 acres of railway land into a vibrant new neighbourhood, offering new homes and improved connectivity in the Welsh capital.

The station, a key entry point with 13 million annual passengers, is poised to become an even more integral part of Cardiff’s city centre. The plan focuses on regenerating and integrating this strategic location with the broader Cardiff Central Quay area, potentially catalysing further developments in the city’s southern parts and towards Cardiff Bay. Emphasising pedestrian-friendly designs and enhanced transport links, the project will capitalise on its riverside setting to enhance the overall area.

As part of this comprehensive vision, Rightacres, a Cardiff-based developer, has been appointed to construct a new 695-space car park in the adjacent Central Quay development. This move will free up land around the station, enabling its inclusion in the wider masterplan.

The masterplanning team, led by Hawkins\Brown, brings a wealth of experience from projects such as Tottenham Court Road, the Elizabeth Line in London, and regional projects including Cardiff Central Square. The upcoming months will see stakeholder and community consultations, followed by an initial design phase, with the goal to submit a planning application in 2024.

Additionally, Transport for Wales is overseeing a £139m investment programme for major improvements to the station, funded by various governmental and regional bodies, to enhance passenger experience.

Rightacres is also advancing the development of Central Quay on the former Brain’s Brewery site, which will include hotel, commercial, leisure spaces, and up to 2,000 waterfront homes.

Robin Dobson of Network Rail expressed enthusiasm for the project, highlighting the potential for creating new neighbourhoods and public spaces. Iain Cochran of Hawkins\Brown shared the excitement for setting the development framework, aiming to create a welcoming hub at the city’s heart. Paul McCarthy from Rightacres underlined the importance of this project for Cardiff’s Southern Gateway, while Alexia Course from Transport for Wales emphasised the combined effort in enhancing the area around Cardiff Central, aligning with the city’s major transport interchange and regional benefits.