Work finally due to start to staff Kirkgate

Pictured: Ken Taylor, chief exec of Groundwork, who is celebrating securing all the funding for the Kirkgate Station redevelopment programme and giving a press conference about it today.
Pictured: Ken Taylor, chief exec of Groundwork, who is celebrating securing all the funding for the Kirkgate Station redevelopment programme and giving a press conference about it today.
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Work is to get underway to staff Kirkgate Railway Station after a four-year campaign by the Express and its readers.

The £4.6m redevelopment project, which has been led by environmental charity Groundwork Wakefield, is expected to start in April.

It will transform the grim, isolated station into a welcoming, safe transport hub with a ticket office, cafe, shop, and room for businesses and community groups.

The project was triggered by the Express’ Staff Our Station campaign. It began in 2009 after a young woman was subjected to a horrific sex attack in the dingy subway.

Thousands of our readers supported our demands to politicians and rail bosses to put staff the station and make it safe.

Coun Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council, said: “The commitment of the council, Groundwork and all the partners involved, including the Wakefield Express and its readers, has been able to drive forward the transformation of this important gateway to the city, which will welcome both visitors and residents to Wakefield.”

Work on the Grade-II listed station is due to be completed within 12 months.

The project has been backed by Wakefield Council, Network Rail, Metro, Railway Heritage Trust, Grand Central Rail, Northern Rail, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Headley Trust and Eggborough Power Station.

Additional funding has been secured from the Station Commercial Project Facility and National Stations Improvement Programme and the European Regional Development Fund.

Ken Taylor, executive director of Groundwork Wakefield, said: “We have done it. I am sure everyone will agree this is a major milestone for the redevelopment of this Wakefield gem and it will complement the council’s plans with regards to the broader Kirkgate Masterplan.”

The Staff Our Station campaign won the Campaign of the Year at Johnston Press Excellence awards last Thursday.