Published on: Wednesday, 8 May 2019
Last updated: Wednesday, 8 May 2019
The old station master’s house at Bury St Edmunds rail station is to be restored, thanks to a £192K grant to train operator, Greater Anglia, from the Railway Heritage Trust.
The money will be used to reinstate the roof, doors and windows of the Grade II listed building, which is adjacent to the main rail station.
Most recently a nightclub, it has stood empty for around 20 years, slowly deteriorating due to the effects of the weather, pigeon infestation and vandalism.
The scheme aims to carry out extensive roof repairs, repairs to fractured brickwork and replace all the windows and doors to replicate the originals, to make the building watertight.
It is then hoped that a new tenant will be found who can give the building a new lease of life.
The work is programmed for later this year with Greater Anglia also putting £400K towards the scheme.
Greater Anglia’s Asset Management Director, Simone Bailey, said, “We are very grateful to the Railway Heritage Trust for their help and support in restoring this beautiful grade II listed station, to conserve its unique features for future generations to enjoy and to protect the building, making it fit for use in the 21st Century.”
Andy Savage, Executive Director of the Railway Heritage Trust, stated, “The RHT is delighted that Greater Anglia has taken on the restoration of this building, and we are very happy to give a grant towards that work.
“We had previously sponsored work on the building in the 1980s and were very disappointed that previous operators of the station had allowed it to deteriorate so much.
“We congratulate Greater Anglia on its responsible attitude to its heritage and look forward to seeing a tenant and the building back in use in due course.”
West Suffolk Council and the Bury Town Trust have been pressing for Greater Anglia to invest in salvaging the Grade II listed Station Master’s House.
Ian Gallin, Chief Executive of West Suffolk Council said, “We see rail travel as playing a major role in the future growth of business and housing in West Suffolk. We are part of the East West Rail Consortium which has begun lobbying for Government funding to achieve half hour services to support future passenger growth.
“The Station Master’s House is one of the first buildings that many train passengers see as they arrive in Bury St Edmunds. It is part of the gateway to the town and in its present state, it’s hardly the first impression that we or Greater Anglia want to give to the 500,000 passengers that currently come into Bury St Edmunds each year.
“These important improvements also feed into the delivery of the town centre masterplan by helping provide a more attractive and welcoming arrival and a better route into other parts of the town including Bury St Edmunds town centre. That’s why we are delighted that these works are taking place and we look forward to their completion.”
The rail station itself was restored in 2016 thanks to a £1 million restoration programme which saw Greater Anglia restore and repair brickwork across the entire station, fix decades of damage caused by leaks, restore 500 metres of canopy and replace 500m of platform