Opening of Beccles Railway Station Building

Beccles station 10 June 2016Following two years of hard work the newly refurbished railway station building at Beccles has formally opened. BBC Look East presenter Jenny Kirk and Jackie Crisp of the Crisp Family who own the building cut the ribbon Friday 10th June at 1pm.

The building was brought back into good condition by the Crisp family, and then refurbished and restored to its former glory by the Beccles and District Regeneration Company, a charity who now who lease the facility.

The nerve centre of the project is the station cafe on the ground floor which is also a “Visitor Information Point” and welcoming gateway to the town. Later in the year it will also incorporate cycle hire. The cafe is run as a social enterprise by Cathy Aukland; any profits made will be ploughed back into community facilities. The cafe is run by paid staff supplemented by volunteers to ensure the it can be open for longer hours than might otherwise be financially viable.

Cathy said “The cafe will be a friendly place where the whole community can come, relax with friends, and enjoy fresh sandwiches and delicious cakes made with the region’s fantastic local produce. We will also act as the bookings office for the station’s business and community facilities, and with the new hatch that opens on to the platform, anybody can take-away a great coffee.”

The ground floor also houses two large multi-purpose rooms that can be hired for meetings; the larger of the two can also serve as a studio for yoga or dance. Along with a third smaller meeting room all can be booked by the hour and have already proved popular venues for a variety of activities. The station building also offers training facilities.

The first floor was also refurbished and now features four offices, three of which have already been let to local businesses.

Beccles station prior to the refurbishment

Graham Elliott, Green Party Councillor for Beccles North, and Christine Pinsent, chair of Beccles and District Regeneration Company worked with the owners for the last two years to bring the much needed facilities to the station.

Graham said, “Our plan was to create a welcoming gateway to Beccles that gives visitors a great first impression of the town. We also wanted to provide some essential railway station facilities including a café and waiting room, a taxi hotline, cycle hire and tourist information. The vision was to create a thriving hub of activity that, along with CCTV, will put an end to the vandalism that has plagued the railway station. It is fantastic to see this vision becoming a reality!”

Christine Pinsent, said, “We are delighted with the refurbishment of Beccles Station, working with the Crisp family to create an attractive and functional gateway to Beccles. The refurbished station building will be welcomed not only by visitors to Beccles, but by the whole community. Any ideas for additional services using the facilities of this lovely building are more than welcome!”

The station has an hourly train service Monday to Saturday with services running every two hours on Sundays (with additional late afternoon Sunday services).

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