Old Station House restored

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A derelict former station house is in the last phase of being transformed into a heritage centre for a train line that runs from Bedford to Bletchley.

The Marston Vale Communiity Rail Partnership, which runs the Marston Vale Line, has been working on turning the building at Ridgmont Railway Station into a community hub and centre for the railway group.

Once completed the building is set to include a mini tourist attraction, comprising a heritage centre for the rail partnership, tea rooms, a shop, and a meeting room for the community.

Rail officer at the partnership Stephen Sleight said: “We are really delighted that we are now in the final stages of this project.

“It’s going to be a real community hub for people to meet up, have a coffee. The partnership also felt that it was really important that we had a presence on the line, and this was the last available building on the line.

“Ridgmont is the BRCC’s adopted station, so they expressed an early interest back in 2007 in the project. And now it is in its final phase of building work.”

The Station House has been derelict since the 1970s, apart from being used as a signalling centre for several years until 2004.

The Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity has been working with the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery and Museum in Bedford on the project.

It is due to cost around £500,000, which has been funded by the charity and various grants.

Funders have included the Rural Development Programme for England, landfill community fund WREN, Wixamtree Trust and the Railway Heritage Trust.

The building is set to open by next summer.