Previously considered a London backwater, Kings Cross has been transformed into one of the top regeneration hotspots in all of the UK. With the redevelopment projects centering around transport links, infrastructure and new homes, this created a thriving, world-class neighbourhood.
With similar investment getting put into Piccadilly in Manchester through transformative regeneration projects, what does this mean for the new neighbourhood and city as a whole?
How Kings Cross has transformed North London
King’s Cross was once an unsavoury district of North London, but has been transformed into one of London’s top locations. Kings Cross has been one of the most talked about regeneration schemes, and in October 2021, the project turned 10 years old.
Now a decade on, we can see the impact this has had on this part of the capital. King’s Cross St Pancras has become a major rail hub with six underground lines, two national train mainline stations, and Eurostar services.
The 67-acre district also has capacity for 18,000 jobs, supporting an annual gross value added of £1.42bn. This area of London features 1,120 homes and an additional 623 are under construction.
Public squares and parks have become well used, heritage buildings have been sensitively restored and former industrial houses have been repurposed. There are now sophisticated shops and impressive architecture, and it’s evolved into a thriving community and creative quarter.
With this improved livability, the property market in Kings Cross and the surrounding area has taken off. The rental market has been thriving with demand increasing, particularly among professionals. This has also led to growing house and rent prices.
The plans for HS2 at Piccadilly Manchester
Much like the King’s Cross redevelopment, Piccadilly Central is set to be transformed from underused industrial sites to a lively mixed-use community hub with unrivalled transport links.
The new Piccadilly HS2 train station is expected to cut travel times between some of the biggest cities in the UK. From Manchester, a train to Birmingham is forecast to take only 41 minutes and 63 minutes to London.
At the Picaddily station, there will be six platforms at surface level, which will allow passengers to access both HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail services. There are also proposals to build a new Metrolink station beneath the HS2 station with four platforms to further improve transport links.
The first stages of construction for the station is predicted to start in 2025. Current plans for HS2 would see the new station open between 2035 and 2040. This transport investment in Piccadilly is bringing forward additional regeneration and investment, which is expected to fully transform this part of Manchester.
The impact this investment is expected to have on Manchester
There are regeneration plans for the area surrounding the Piccadilly train station. The masterplan is set to create a vibrant and distinct new neighbourhood, Piccadilly Central. This will capitalise on the connectivity that HS2 is going to deliver and create an impactful arrival for those entering the city through the station.
The new neighbourhood Piccadilly Central will provide a public square, community spaces, retail space, new streets and excellent pedestrian connections. On top of that, the site brings opportunities to provide much-needed new housing and employment spaces, which will make it a particularly exciting area of Manchester to live, work and invest in.
Piccadilly Central is expected to become an attractive and unique destination for residents and visitors alike – much like Kings Cross has over the last 10 years.