Abellio Greater Anglia station transformed into gateway to the Broads

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

An Abellio Greater Anglia station has been given a £30,000 face-lift to improve the welcome for visitors to the Broads.

Stunning murals of Broads scenes cover old boarded up windows and doorways to greet travellers arriving at Hoveton and Wroxham, branding it as a gateway to the Broads.

Abellio Greater Anglia has spent £18,000 refurbishing the station and repainting and renovating the station canopies while the Broads Authority channelled £12,000 of European money from the Sustainable Tourism in Estuary Parks project into the design and installation of the images.

The murals, which were commissioned by the Broads Authority, were picked from the Britain’s Magical Waterland brand images.and depict scenes of the best the Broads has to offer.  Each is marked with the www.enjoythebroads.com address which features visitor information for the Broads.

A giant map of the Broads measuring 4.7m wide and 2.45m high, with a street map of Hoveton inset, provides a striking welcome to visitors arriving off the train from Norwich.

Geraint Hughes, Partnerships Officer for Abellio Greater Anglia, said: “This is a fantastic project which has resulted in a station that the local community can feel proud of. Tourism is hugely important to the local railways in Norfolk and the Bittern line is a wonderful way for visitors to see the Broads. We’re very pleased to have worked with all our partners to offer a much improved gateway to Hoveton and Wroxham and the whole Broads area.”

Bruce Hanson, the Broads Authority’s Tourism Officer, said: “We are delighted to have had this opportunity to help brighten up Hoveton and Wroxham station. We have worked with partners to provide a really warm welcome to the  area and show visitors all that the Broads has to offer.”

Martin Richmond, Chairman of Hoveton Parish Council, which helped with the project, said: “I think the new murals are absolutely fantastic and make an enormous difference to the look and feel of the station.  The large map is especially good but I was most impressed with the clarity and quality of all the images that have been used.” 

Regular traveller Pauline Simpson, from Neatishead, said: “Wroxham station is the start of the visitors’ adventure so it’s very important they get the right impression of the Broads as soon as they arrive. When I travel to Norwich the new look station puts a smile on my face.”

The Community Rail Partnership and the Parish Council are now trying to raise funds for finger post signage to Hoveton and local attractions and to upgrade the subway.