View down platforms 5, 6, 7 and 8 of King's Cross Station.
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King's Cross Station, London, 2012 © Historic England DP149053
King's Cross Station, London, 2012 © Historic England DP149053

New Heritage Partnership Agreement Signed at King’s Cross Station

Today, Heritage Minister Michael Ellis attended the signing of a Heritage Partnership Agreement at King’s Cross Station with Historic England, Network Rail and Camden Council. The Heritage Partnership Agreement helps to ensure the efficient future management of the nationally significant site by streamlining the formal listed building consent process.

As a Grade I listed building, even small changes at King’s Cross Station which affect its historic or architectural significance need to be agreed with the planning authority and Historic England before being granted listed building consent by Camden Council.

Black and white photo of King's Cross station showing two coaches parked beneath the station awning.
King's Cross station from York Way taken 1968 - 1972 © Historic England AA062769

This new Heritage Partnership Agreement (HPA) will streamline and simplify this process, as more minor works no longer need formal consent. This will make managing the building much easier, saving time and money, while protecting what is special about it. The HPA has been founded on the shared knowledge that the special qualities of this outstanding building are well understood and its character will be carefully looked after by Network Rail, while allowing its on-going use as a major railway terminus.

Group photo of the representatives of the partner organisations.
New Heritage Partnership signed at King's Cross. From left to right: Katherine Watts, Architect John McAslan and Partners, Tom Higginson, Director of Planning and Land Services, Network Rail, Michael Ellis, Heritage Minister, Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive Historic England, Cllr Danny Beales, Camden Council, Bethany Cullen, Camden Council © Historic England

Statutory HPAs were introduced in 2013 as a result of reform powers from government that help manage change efficiently whilst maintaining the special qualities of a place.

King’s Cross joins a handful of statutory HPAs including Stow Maries Airfield in Essex, Battersea Power Station in London and the University of Sussex.

The newly signed agreement at King’s Cross is a pioneering project and Historic England hopes it will inspire other similar sites to consider it as an option for sound, efficient management of our heritage.

Protecting our listed buildings is of paramount importance for preserving our nation’s heritage. I am very pleased that this agreement will allow King’s Cross Station to efficiently carry out essential work while ensuring that the unique architecture of this Grade I building is safeguarded. Heritage Minister, Michael Ellis

Exterior general view of King's Cross Station photographed 1870 - 1900.
King's Cross station, London. It was designed by Lewis Cubitt and built in 1851-52 as the London terminus for the Great Northern Railway. When it opened it was the largest railway station in England © Historic England, CC97 00502

The recent major extension and inspiring conservation project at King’s Cross proves that heritage and busy infrastructure can be entwined. The project shows that through close partnership working, combined with expertise and a passion for our heritage, exceptional, vibrant places can be shaped for everyone to enjoy. This new HPA agreement builds on this project, ensuring King’s Cross station can continue to be efficiently looked after for the future. Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England

View of King's Cross station from the top floor of the Northumberland Hotel.
The station has undergone a major extension and restoration since this photo was taken in 2010 © Historic England DP094414

We are always looking for ways we can run the station more efficiently and this is a perfect example of that. We have worked incredibly closely with Historic England and Camden Council and this agreement will save all of us time, which can now be spent in other areas, and means that passengers can benefit from improvements to the station more quickly. This will also help to reduce our costs, which is incredibly important to us as a tax-payer funded organisation. Tom Higginson, Director of Planning and Land Services for Network Rail

This is an impressive outcome that is testament to the positive and helpful approach of all the parties involved. Camden is rich with architectural gems, including King’s Cross Station, one of the best known locations within the borough. The station will now benefit from the clear approach set out in the Heritage Partnership Agreement and the council’s desire to protect all our historical buildings, whilst facilitating the changes that these working buildings require. Councillor Danny Beales, Camden Council Cabinet Member

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