A MASSIVE revamp is planned for the six-storey York city centre building vacated last year by Network Rail.

It could generate up to 750 jobs and, for the first time in its 100-year history, they may come from outside the traditional railway industry.

The Edwardian grade two listed building in Station Rise, called Main HQ, was largely emptied when Network Rail and Northern Rail moved out of the ground, first, second and fifth floors and into new offices at Northern House in nearby Rougier Street in December Now the owner, York Investors Llp, represented by Buccleuch Property, has called in a firm of York architects to draw up plans for refurbishment of the city landmark.

DWA architects will seek approval for the plans in time to have the work finished by the end of 2007 or the beginning of 2008.

Until the details are drawn up, no one is venturing how much the project will cost beyond the fact that it will be "substantial".

Property advisers Savills and Lawrence Hannah have been jointly appointed to market the 70,000sq ft of office space that will be created in the revamp.

Matthew Tootell, associate director of Savills, said: "The building took six years to complete, opening in September 1906.

"Many of the offices are cellular in kind and the plan is to modernise them with an open plan concept.

"Many rail industry firms could be interested, although we are hoping the prospect of modern offices there will attract the wider business community."

Describing the proposed refurbishment as "great news for York", he said that the city centre suffered from a lack of good quality Disability Discrimination Act-compliant office accommodation.

"When the transformation is complete, it is bound to attract a wealth of occupiers, these being both local companies who want to expand, and those from farther afield with all the inward investment potential that they bring."

He estimated that up to 750 new jobs could be attracted to the building. "The boost to the city will be very significant," he said.