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Consultation Launched on National Railway Museum’s Exciting Central Hall Plans

A consultation process is being launched on the National Railway Museum’s plans for a new Central Hall, part of its vision as the cultural heart of York Central.

An exhibition will be on show at the museum for 10 days – alongside a virtual consultation – to capture feedback from residents of the city and museum visitors on the exciting plans that are part of the museum’s Vision 2025 initiative.  

Central Hall is a new welcome space and gallery located between the museum’s Great Hall and Station Hall. It will unite the museum buildings and is a cornerstone of Vision 2025, the museum’s five-year journey to transform its offer and become the World’s Railway Museum. This exciting vision also includes a new Wonderlab, aimed at inspiring children to think like engineers through experience, interactivity and play. 

Central Hall will also feature a gallery showcasing the latest innovations in rail technology, a café overlooking the new museum square, shop, flexible event space and new visitor facilities. 

Sustainability is at the heart of the Central Hall design, with environmentally friendly design principles and materials which are in-keeping with York’s rich railway history and the surrounding area.

The consultation process for Central Hall follows a recent decision by the Secretary of State for Transport to approve the Stopping Up of Leeman Road. This is a step forward for the wider York Central scheme and will facilitate the building of Central Hall, transforming York’s only national museum, connecting its site and helping facilitate improved exhibits that will attract more visitors from the city and from around the world. 

Information and a survey on designs for the Central Hall project can be found on the Railway Museum website or visit Station Hall at the museum until 3 November.

Members of the museum team will be on hand to answer questions and explain the plans on the following times:

  • Wednesday 27 October 2021 – 13:00 – 16:00
  • Saturday 30 October 2021 – 10.00-12.00 
  • Tuesday 2 November 2021 – 17.00 – 19.00

Judith McNicol, Director of the National Railway Museum, commented: 

“Central Hall is just one aspect of our journey to embed our museum in the heart of our community. We are excited to share the latest plans for the new building, which follow the principles agreed in the outline permission for the wider York Central site. This consultation helps provide further detail about the plans to unite the Museum’s estate as never before and deliver Vision 2025. It’s really important that we gather feedback at this early stage in the process so that the plans can evolve to offer as many benefits to our neighbourhood and to our visitors as possible.

“These plans will provide a massive economic boost to York and the wider area, acting as a stimulus for a wide range of other businesses too.”

Greg Dyke, Chair of Make It York and York Central Strategic Board commented: 

“The improvements to the National Railway Museum, through the Central Hall project, will enhance York’s cultural development and provide a catalyst to the whole economy of the city and beyond.  It will help to create a national museum that we can be proud of in York and across the country and assist to inspire and educate future generations in technology and the significance of railways across the world. Central Hall will act as the gateway to the transformed galleries and spaces and be the cultural heart of York Central.”

The Central Hall plans form an early stage of the delivery of York Central, the 45-hectare regeneration site which is a partnership with Network Rail, Homes England, City of York Council and the museum.

A planning application will be submitted in the coming months, following analysis of all the feedback from the consultation process.  The improvements are expected to be completed by 2025, which will mark the museum’s 50th Anniversary.  

Leading architect Feilden Fowles is the architect on the project, having won a UK-wide competition in 2020.  

Ends

For more information, please contact: 

Further detail about the exhibitions

The exhibition sessions will take place in Station Hall at the National Railway Museum. To book a ticket to attend an event, please visit www.railwaymuseum.org.uk/centralhall or call us on 033 0058 0058. 

The exhibition and feedback can also be viewed online.

We will be accepting online feedback until Sunday 14 November, but views will also be taken into account following this date, where possible.

For any questions about the plans or consultation, or for a hard copy of the consultation material, please contact: ben@royalpilgrim.com 

Part of the Science Museum Group