Another piece of the puzzle is in place in the effort to revitalise the UK’s easternmost situated rail station.
A new tenant has leased a vacant portion of Lowestoft station next to the Greater Anglia ticket office. Leaseholder Henry Nimmo spent several years on the project which has now come to fruition in the form of a brand new shop and cafe for the station.
The inside of the premises were gutted and remodelled from the ground up and feature a brightly lit shop with a place to sit down and enjoy a meal, grab a takeaway, or just take a break whilst changing trains.
‘The Station Shop’ is a full service cafe, neighbourhood shop, news agent, and off licence. Hot food, hot and cold drinks, snacks, sweets, and many household items you would find in your local neighbourhood shop are available. The new shop is open six days a week and can be easily accessed from the platform or from the street.
The opening of the new shop is the latest development which has seen major improvements at the station. Over the summer of 2013 the car park and forecourt we rebuilt and reconfigured in a multi-million pound project which results in a much easier interchange for passengers making connections between trains and buses.
Leasing the premises for the shop is part of a scheme by train operator Abellio Great Anglia to make good use of redundant station facilities along the line. Already most station buildings on the East Suffolk Lines have been put to good use.
At Halesworth the station houses the local museum and MENCAP, at Darsham the Country Centre is available for hire by groups and organisations for self-serve catering. Plans are underway to fill the vacant station building at Saxmundham, and at Wickham Market (Campsea Ashe) a local group has spearheaded a campaign to bring the station house back into use as a multi-purpose facility with a museum, conference rooms for hire, computer access, and more. Melton houses a popular butcher shop, Woodbridge station is home to a popular cafe and a new flower shop, and the Trimley Station Preservation Group is working hard to restore the station building for local benefit.