Council vote on Kirkgate

Council Leader Peter Box and Ken Taylor from Groundwork at Kirkgate Station,Wakefield
Council Leader Peter Box and Ken Taylor from Groundwork at Kirkgate Station,Wakefield

A MULTI-million pound plan to staff Kirkgate Railway Station and bring it back to life is set to be rubber stamped next week.

Councillors will be asked to approve a £500,000 grant to environmental regeneration charity Groundwork for its £4m project at Kirkgate – which was once dubbed ‘the worst station in Britain’.

If it does go ahead, thousands of readers who backed the Express Staff Our Station campaign will see staff on the platforms of the run-down grade-II listed station for the first time in decades.

A report prepared for the meeting said: “The aim of the project is to refurbish the station buildings which are no longer suitable for the purpose for which they were originally built for and to fit them for new uses to take place within the buildings.

“This will act as a catalyst for regeneration and economic growth within the Kirkgate area, and help to improve an area which is currently vulnerable to crime and which has few community facilities.”

Match funding totalling £700,000 has also be offered from Railway Heritage Trust, Metro, Grand Central, Northern Rail and Network Rail.

This will be used to apply for a £625,000 grant from the European Regional Development Fund.

Other funding applications are also being developed.

The report states councillors can vote to give a lower grant or no money at all but it warns the project would fail without the council’s financial support.

The Express Staff Our Station campaign was launched in 2009 after a woman was subjected to an horrific sexual attack. It has been backed by more than 3,000 readers, and high profile politicians including prime minister David Cameron, and the then prime minister Gordon Brown.