A £50m funding gap in the Oxford Railway Station redevelopment is “bridgeable”, council bosses have said.
They were speaking as the masterplan for the £75m development was formally unveiled yesterday at the Said Business School.
Funding is already in place for the improvements to the rail infrastructure and the missing cash would be spent on new buildings. Yesterday the Oxford Mail revealed the masterplan would include a new bus terminus, hotel, shops and a multi-storey car park off Becket Street.
The existing station building would be demolished and replaced by a new three-storey building which would face out on to Frideswide Square.
City council leader Bob Price said the gap is “not unbridgeable.”
“I think it will come from a combination of sources, such as from the operators themselves, because for them this is a huge economic opportunity. It could also come from the way in which the retail is sold, so you can fund it through borrowing and get the money back over a period of time.”
Work on the station would start in 2017 and end in 2019.
An architectural competition will now take place to find out what the buildings should actually look like – with the result expected in the spring.
County council leader Ian Hudspeth said they would need to know how much money was available by the time detailed designs were being drawn up.
He said: “If we don’t get the full funding then the aspiration of the scheme might have to be revisited. Obviously, we have got the funding from Network Rail for the transport side of it and we are going to do some work in kind.
“One of the big parts will be the private sector, and the more retail included in the design the better.”
A transport terminal will be built off Botley Road and Becket Street, where the long-stay car-park currently is.
It will include a new bus station, multi-storey car park and cycle racks.
The station will be bulldozed to make way for a new one, to run parallel to Botley Road, where the station’s current cycle racks are.
Land to the north of the new station, which will stretch from where the current short-stay car park is, could be used for office space, a hotel or an expansion of the Said Business School, including student accommodation.
The development will help the station cope with the expected passenger growthdue to the new London Marylebone line and the East West rail link between Reading and Milton Keynes.
The project is expected to cost £75m and is currently unfunded, but £25m could come from the development value of the site, leaving a net cost of around £50m.
David Sexton, of the Department for Transport, said: “Oxford sits at the hub of all these developments and it has a very exciting future. We are going to have more train passengers, there is no doubt about that, and we think we will see greater growth at Oxford than many parts of the country.”
Finding the revenue
Network Rail has set aside £110m for railway improvements in the area.
The station redevelopment will cost £75m and is completely unfunded. Having the development value gives authorities the basis to take out a loan.
It is estimated that the development will recoup £25m from features such as retail and housing.
This could be either from selling off parts once it is built or renting units out.
That leaves a net amount of £50m to find.
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