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New-look Beccles station to be unveiled next week after two-year project

PUBLISHED: 17:06 04 June 2016 | UPDATED: 17:06 04 June 2016

The outside of the new-look Beccles train station building. Picture: Nick Butcher

The outside of the new-look Beccles train station building. Picture: Nick Butcher

© Archant 2016

The results of a two-year long project to bring Beccles railway station back to its former glory will be officially unveiled next week.

The Beccles station building as it looked in 2013. Picture: Submitted.The Beccles station building as it looked in 2013. Picture: Submitted.

Beccles town councillor Graham Elliott and businesswoman Christine Pinsent have been working with the owners of the building for the past two years with the aim of regenerating it into a “thriving hub” for the town.

Mr Elliott said: “Our plan was to create a welcoming gateway to Beccles that gives visitors a great first impression of the town.

“We also wanted to provide some essential railway station facilities including a café and waiting room, a taxi hotline, cycle hire and tourist information.

“The vision was to create a thriving hub of activity that, along with CCTV, will put an end to the vandalism that has plagued the railway station. It is fantastic to see this vision becoming a reality.”

The building is owned by the Crisp family, who have been working with the Beccles and District Regeneration Company to refurbish it.

Chairman of Beccles and District Regeneration Company Mrs Pinsent said: “We are delighted with the refurbishment of Beccles station, working with the Crisp family to create an attractive and functional gateway to Beccles.

“The refurbished station building will be welcomed not only by visitors to Beccles, but by the whole community.

“Any ideas for additional services using the facilities of this lovely building are more than welcome.”

The first floor of the building has four offices, which are being let to local businesses with one still available to rent.

But the real community focus of the project is the ground floor.

There are two large multi-purpose rooms that can be used for meetings. These rooms, along with a third, smaller meeting room can be booked by the hour and are already proving popular venues for a variety of activities.

The centre of the entire project is the cafe, which will also operate as a visitor information point, and later in the year incorporate cycle hire.

The cafe will be run as a social enterprise by Cathy Aukland, with paid staff and volunteers, and all profits will be put back into the community.

It will serve as a bookings office for the station’s business and community facilities and operate a hatch that opens onto the platform for take-a-away food and drinks.

Beccles station building will be formally opened next Friday, June 10, at 1pm.

Do you have a story? Email louisa.lay@archant.co.uk

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