Former station master's house at Bury St Edmunds rail station to be restored after standing empty for more than 20 years
A long derelict building at Bury St Edmunds rail station is to be restored to help give it a new lease of life in a £600,000 project.
The rejuvenation of the former station master’s house, which is ‘part of the gateway to the town’ next to the main rail station, will fix the roof, repair fractured brickwork and replace all windows and doors.
It is then hoped a new tenant will be found to give a new lease of life to the Grade II listed building, which was previously The Great Eastern bar between 1993 and 1995 and has been empty since then.
Train operator Greater Anglia is putting £400,000 towards the scheme and has received a £192,000 grant from the Railway Heritage Trust.
West Suffolk Council and the Bury Town Trust have been calling for Greater Anglia to invest in the building.
Ian Gallin, council chief executive, said: “The station master’s house is one of the first buildings that many train passengers see as they arrive in Bury St Edmunds.
“It is part of the gateway to the town and in its present state, it’s hardly the first impression that we or Greater Anglia want to give to the 500,000 passengers that currently come into Bury St Edmunds each year.
“These important improvements also feed into the delivery of the town centre masterplan by helping provide a more attractive and welcoming arrival and a better route into other parts of the town including Bury St Edmunds town centre.”
The authority is part of the East West Rail Consortium, which is lobbying for trains to run every 30 minutes from Bury to Cambridge and Ipswich.
Work will start on the building later this year.
Simone Bailey, Greater Anglia’s asset management director, said they were ‘very grateful’ to the Railway Heritage Trust for its support to conserve the building’s ‘unique features for future generations to enjoy and to protect the building, making it fit for use in the 21st Century’.
Andy Savage, executive director of the trust, congratulated Greater Anglia for its ‘responsible’ attitude to the building’s heritage.
Bury rail station received a £1 million restoration in 2016.