Brighton Station is set to become the St Pancras of the south following its multi-million pound re-development.

Architects took inspiration from the award-winning London station when designing Brighton’s £5.5 million transport hub.

The new station will feature a new cafe/bar, Victorian waiting room, information boards and additional shops when it officially re-opens in the autumn.

The £5.5 million project will also see the main concourse opened up with more than twice the number of ticket gates as present.

The Argus was taken on an exclusive tour of the work-in-progress station by project manager Pieter Wilke, yesterday.

He said: “The architects – London-based Trevor Patrick Partnership – certainly looked at St Pancras during the process so the London station has been an influence.

“The amazing thing is that we will have lots of new space and facilities but without losing anything.

“The design has maximized the space we have.”

One of the main changes is the opening up of the concourse.

The WHSmith shop and adjoining buildings have been knocked down with the newsagent now at the front of the station.

The Argus:

The resulting space will instead see more cash and ticket machines as well as waiting areas.

The benches and lampposts in the main concourse and information boards will also be knocked down with an improved customer services centre in place.

xhyead The extra space will also see the number of ticket gates more than double from 12 to 28.

Extensive work is also being carried out to the east side (Trafalgar Arches) of the station.

The line of rooms which were before used for storage and heating will now feature a stationery shop, cafe/bar and waiting room with coffee shop.

Mr Wilke added: “The rooms are quite beautiful. We have kept all the original Victorian features. We didn’t have a waiting room before so I’m sure it will be popular.”

The ticket office, which used to be situated at the front of the building has now been relocated to the south eastern side. A Superdrug store is to be constructed in its place.

Next door will be local favourite Bagelman along with the existing Pasty Shop the other side.

The Argus:

Mr Wilke said: “By opening up the station our passengers have an improved view of the station’s grand arches. For many years this has been hidden from view.”

The majority of the £5.5million cost is to come from the Department for Transport’s Station Commercial Project Facility with Southern Rail contributing £500,000.

Work is to be completed in stages with the final project set to be done by the end of October.

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