5th Studio are part of the project team developing proposals for the Global Centre of Rail Excellence on the site of the Nant Helen open cast mine and Onllwyn Washeries. These proposals have recently been showcased in a series of conferences and articles as the projects continues to gather momentum.
5th Studio are leading a multidisciplinary team to produce an overarching masterplan for the transformation of the site. Our team including Expedition Engineering, Jonathan Cook Landscape Architects, Faithful & Gould, Fairhurst, PRD, Wildwood Ecology and Thirty 4/7 are in the process of developing a holistic spatial plan that will incorporate the track testing facility including proposals for the future landscape of the whole site, together with an innovation campus incorporating visitor accommodation. This integrated design process will include public consultation to engage and integrate the views of local residents.
The Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) was established by the Welsh Government as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in 2021. It is a major infrastructure project that will provide state-of-the-art rolling stock testing, infrastructure testing and storage and maintenance for the UK and international rail industry.
- Deliver a modern and comprehensive rail testing and innovation facility; providing the capacity and capabilities for rigorous testing of rolling stock, infrastructure, and integrated systems from prototype to implementation;
- Be a catalyst for the creation of a rail technology hub in Wales; providing a flexible, open-market platform for leading R&D activity that drives and accelerates innovation on the journey to net-zero;
- Help to reduce regional inequality and promote regeneration in Wales; working with industry to support skills development through high-quality employment in fair, secure and sustainable jobs that contribute to reducing regional inequality and promoting regeneration in Wales, and
- Support the development and testing of rail sector principles, standards and specifications; improving the UK's competitive strengths as a world leader in achieving carbon neutrality, contributing to an overall decrease in carbon emissions across the rail industry, boosting exports, enabling greater efficiency in a lower cost reliable railway, key tool in major project risk mitigation.