Coffee shop and museum among plans to transform Spalding Railway Station
A coffee shop and museum are among the ideas that have been put forward to transform a railway station into a vibrant hub.
George Scott wants to make use of the empty rooms in Spalding’s ‘fantastic’ building.
His calls come at a time when footfall is down at the station due to issues such as the toilets being out of order and the waiting room being closed after 2.30pm.
“We’re going to hopefully get a plan over the next few months to do something about the station,” Mr Scott told Spalding Town Forum last Tuesday (January 30).
“I had a meeting with East Midlands Railways, who are very interested in the project itself.
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“We’ve got eight or nine rooms at the station which are not used and could be used for community service.”
Mr Scott – chairman of the Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum – added that businesses have shown interest in his plans.
“We want to get a museum put in there,” he continued.
“I’m trying to get improvements, but we need the community’s support.
“I’ve been approached for a coffee shop, a health shop, also a museum of local history about the railway and I’m pushing EMR to do something an co-operate with us.”
When forum chairman Coun Rob Gibson asked whether Mr Scott was looking for people to come forward with ideas or get permission from EMR to use the space, he responded ‘both’.
“Some of the rooms are fantastic and the railway station has a hell of a history behind it,” Mr Scott said.
“The station is a focal point of the town and we need to make it welcoming. It looks great.”
Mr Scott told the forum that the station’s toilets ‘are not working and haven’t been since December’, but hopes they can be fixed soon.
However, he believes that this is having a detrimental effect on the numbers of people choosing to travel by train.
“The bad news is that the station is still not being used as much as it should be,” he added.
“Because you can’t use the toilets or get into the waiting room after 2.30pm, we’re seeing people go other ways and footfall is dropping.”
Recent strike action may also have put commuters off relying on the trains.
Mr Scott added that there was also good news that the ticket office – which will remain staffed following a successful campaign – is now manned between 6am and 2.30pm, when it previously shut at noon.
He also pointed out early trains are now running at 7am, 8am and 9am – ‘which we never used to have’.
The forum was also informed that, following a meeting between Mr Scott and EMR, he was informed ‘there will be no improvements on the line, no electrification, until at least 2030’.