Community hubs are set to open in mostly unused spaces at three Northern railway stations in Greater Manchester in Spring 2023.
Altrincham, Heaton Chapel and Trafford Park will gain areas for community groups or small businesses to use.
The scheme was set up by The Station Alliance, which includes representation from Northern, Network Rail, Transport for Greater Manchester, London and Continental Railways and GMCVO (Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation).
These spaces are in addition to the work the local Friends groups (Friends of Heaton Chapel Station and Friends of Altrincham Interchange) deliver, working closely with Northern to bring about improvements to the stations, including gardening, organising art projects and raising funds for station developments.
At Heaton Chapel, an unused area on the first floor of the main station entrance building will be used as a meeting room and workspaces for small local businesses.
At Altrincham, an old storeroom, and the current customer information point on Platform 4 will be transformed into ‘The Hub’, which will consist of two large rooms for community use. Northern staff will continue to provide assistance and information to customers on Platform 4. Meanwhile at Trafford Park, space has been found to create a room for use by local health practitioners.
Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “At Northern, we want our stations to be more than just places to travel to and from – we want to put our customers at the heart of everything we do. This fantastic scheme will mean our stations will become centres for the community.”
Vernon Everitt, transport commissioner for Greater Manchester, said: “Stations and public transport services are at the heart of unlocking new opportunities for small businesses and residents. This excellent scheme provides much needed space at stations for people to collaborate on ideas and projects and are a very welcome new focal point for our local communities.”
If you are interested in finding out more about the fantastic work of station adopters across the Northern network, visit the Northern Station Adopters Facebook group.