Grand Central Shopping Centre

Waterproofing one of the UK’s busiest shopping centres


Workman LLP and Hammerson


City centre, Birmingham



Birmingham view across the city

Grand Central Shopping Centre

Urbanise was engaged to deliver a critical cladding investigation and remediation project at the Grand Central Shopping Centre in Birmingham. Grand Central is situated above Birmingham New Street railway station and is interlinked with Bullring and LinkStreet, forming one of the biggest, busiest shopping centres in the UK.

The task at hand was to address severe water ingress in the building’s external cladding, which had started to cause leaks inside the shopping centre.

Deploying cladding experts

Our specialised cladding investigation team removed a section of cladding from the affected area with precision and care. We then installed a waterproofing membrane, along with flashings, to ensure watertightness and lasting protection. Finally, we replaced the cladding to restore the building’s original aesthetic.

Project challenges

The project presented significant challenges, requiring adaptation and close cooperation with the Grand Central Shopping Centre management team:

Ongoing operations: The shopping centre remained fully operational throughout the project. We worked in tandem with the management team to minimise disruption to the retailers and customers. Daily permits for deliveries were secured, and delivery schedules were coordinated to reduce the impact on traffic. We kept the management team informed of the construction programme and any changes or issues, so that it could regularly update the retailers and other building occupiers.

Limited access: Access to the affected area proved challenging as it was situated above a plant area inaccessible to vehicles. Our team adeptly managed the manual transportation of materials from the nearest parking area while adhering to health and safety guidelines for lifting. We then used a hoist to facilitate the lifting of heavy materials up to the affected area.

Restoring a vibrant shopping destination

Despite the project’s complexities and obstacles, we delivered a successful outcome, on time and within budget. The waterproofing solution effectively resolved the water ingress issue, ensuring the safety and satisfaction of retailers, shoppers and commuters alike.

“We selected Urbanise as our main contractor on an intricate cladding project. Urbanise completed the project efficiently and to a high standard. The site manager, Daniel Rolfe, was diligent and a pleasure to work with. We look forward to dealing with Urbanise in the future.”

Adam Smith, Apprentice Building Surveyor of Workman LLP