Youth council to revamp run-down train station

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TRAIN passengers passing through Thetford will soon get a much brighter welcome after a youth group vowed to revamp the run-down station.

After extensive negotiations with National Express, Thetford Youth Council has signed an agreement to adopt the railway station.

Under the terms of the agreement the group must put forward ideas to improve the station’s appearance and facilities.

Mike Wilkinson, youth worker, said it was now looking for other community groups to come forward with their ideas to work in partnership on the station’s makeover.

“We don’t have all the ideas so we are opening it up to the community. We want to hear things that are realistic and sustainable, but also innovative,” he said.

Mr Wilkinson said the youth council had identified the station as a blemish for Thetford, calling it ‘unsightly’.

Work to beautify the station would give visitors a better impression of the town, according to Mr Wilkinson.

“The train is a key form of transport for young people as a lot travel to Norwich or Cambridge for college.

“The station is a gateway to Thetford and the council felt that the town had a lot to offer but that the station was putting a lot of people off,” he said.

Hanging baskets, planters and artwork are all on the drawing board for the station’s facelift, while the council is eager to have the toilets re-opened.

The buildings’ blacked out windows could be the canvas for artwork ranging from portraits to graffiti, according to Mr Wilkinson.

A public meeting has now been organised to take place at King Street Baptist Church on December 8 at 7pm.

At the meeting, the youth council will welcome ideas from groups and present the detail of the adoption.

Mr Wilkinson added that the group would be trying to impress National Express bosses enough to be eligible for an annual award for station adopters.

Anyone interested in attending the meeting should contact Mike Wilkinson on 01366 728797 or email on mike.g.wilkinson@btinternet.com