Plans to staff Wakefield Kirkgate station is back on track

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
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MULTI-million pound plans to bring Kirkgate Railway Station back to life and put staff on the platforms for the first time in more than 30 years is on track.

An architect has now been appointed to transform Kirkgate – which was once dubbed ‘the worst station in Britain’.

SBS Architects, who are based in Manchester, are set to unveil their plans to transform the grade-II listed building in the next few months.

Environmental regeneration charity Groundwork announced a £4m plan in June to rejuvenate the station, creating space for community groups and businesses.

Ken Taylor, Groundwork executive director, said: “The redevelopment of Kirkgate station is progressing well. It has reached an exciting phase with the appointment of SBS Architects who are currently drawing up initial options.

“We will then be looking to undertake public consultations before Christmas.”

A total of £1.25m has already been secured from Wakefield Council, Network Rail, Northern Rail, Grand Central Rail, the Rail Heritage Trust and Metro.

Mr Taylor said: “Critically we still need to secure the funding for the scheme and we have £3m applied for from a number of sources. We should hear the outcome of some them over the next few months.”

A bid for cash has been submitted to the Department for Transport.

Mary Creagh MP said: “A decision will be made at the end of October so hopefully we could hear the result of that as early as next week.”

In January 2009 the Express launched its Staff Our Station campaign after a woman was subjected to an horrific sexual assault in the notoriously grim underpass.