A £200,000 renovation of Moorthorpe Train Station has finally started after a 10-year fight by town councillors.
An on-site derelict pub, the Mallard, will be transformed with a passengers’ waiting area, toilets, an information and refreshment area, meeting and training facilities and offices. The site will also be protected by CCTV.
The work started two weeks ago, 10 years after South Kirkby and Moorthorpe Town Council first began the project, which was held up due to funding problems and issues with the building’s lease.
The station has already benefited from recent improvements, including a £1.5m footbridge, which opened last year, and increased parking facilities. Many of the station’s original features will be retained. Work is expected to be completed within the next three months.
The renovation has been funded by a £130,000 government-backed bank loan secured by the town council, with an additional grant from the Green Corridor, a partnership of agencies set up to help former mining communities in the area.
District and town councillor Laurie Harrison said: “After 10 years of battling, frustration and heartbreak the end is in sight within weeks. It will be a fantastic station and I am looking forward to seeing everything up and running. We are keeping many of the building’s original features, such as the window style and internal architecture to preserve our heritage.
“This renovation is what the people of South Kirkby and Moorthorpe want, need and deserve. The project has also provided a contract for a Barnsley firm, which employs local people.
“I would like to thank the Green Corridor for the funding, Wakefield Council for its support and the town council for sticking with this project, despite all the criticism we have come under. Coun David Mothershaw is overseeing the work and he is doing a fantastic job.”