New project to renovate Lowestoft railway station is discussed
PUBLISHED: 13:39 05 July 2013 | UPDATED: 13:39 05 July 2013
Plans are being drawn up to breathe new life into Lowestoft railway station, it emerged this week.
The run-down state of the building – and the lack of action to improve it – has drawn criticism from passengers and prompted Waveney MP Peter Aldous to raise the issue in the House of Commons.
But hopes are now growing that, after years of discussion and delays, an agreement could soon be reached to renovate the station and its concourse, and provide “a massive boost” for the town.
A Waveney District Council spokesman confirmed that a site meeting had taken place involving senior officers, representatives from Network Rail and members of Lowestoft Vision, where “proposals to bring the buildings at the eastern end of the station back into use” were under discussion.
One idea mooted was that an empty building on the station concourse be refurbished and turned into a new café.
The council spokesman said: “The meeting was very positive. Network Rail have made an offer which will enable Lowestoft Vision to take the first steps towards regenerating the buildings ready for occupation.”
Danny Steel, chairman of Lowestoft Vision, which represents local businesses, said the meeting discussed the empty units in the station and could lead to the group heading up a renovation project.
One focus of the talks was the large building on the concourse – backing directly onto Station Square – which used to house a café.
“It needs an awful lot of work doing to it, but under Lowestoft Vision it could be renovated with the help of local causes and colleges,” Mr Steel said. “If turned into a café, it could create a potential steady revenue stream, and improve the visual aspect of Station Square. It could be a massive boost.”
Mr Steel said that with a new JD Wetherspoon pub poised to open in Station Square “there has been a lot of interest” in vacant units nearby.
The recent talks came as rail operator Greater Anglia works with Suffolk and Waveney councils on a new transport interchange, which opens soon.