Rail Minister opens Battle Station community hub

The disused former station master’s house at Battle Station has been transformed into a community hub.

The listed building, adjacent to the station ticket office, has been unused for many years, and had started to fall into disrepair. Major work by the building owner, Network Rail, and the local train operating company, Southeastern, has transformed it into a multi roomed community space, ideal for small groups to meet. Grants were also received from the Railway Heritage Trust and Community Rail Network.

Southeast Communities Rail Partnership (SCRP) was instrumental in working with Battle Town Council to develop the space and find tenants for it. In recent months, various groups have expressed an interest in using the space for the benefit of the local community.

The space was officially opened on Friday 23 February by Huw Merriman, as both the local MP for Bexhill and Battle and the rail minister. He was joined by Cllr Vikki Cook, mayor of Battle Town Council, Baron Hendy of Richmond Hill, chair of Network Rail, and Steve White, managing director of Southeastern.

James Abbott, chair of the 1066 Line CRP (part of SCRP), said: “One of the aims of community rail is to link railways with the communities they serve, and this project does just that, bringing an unused railway space back into community use.”

Steve White, managing director of Southeastern, said: “We want our stations to be an asset for the communities we serve, as connecting people and places helps us to add social value and support the local economy.

“Battle is one of the finest examples of neo-Gothic architecture on the railway today, and we are very proud to be its current custodian. It looks fantastic following the recent restoration work we’ve carried out with our partners, and I’m sure our customers will really enjoy travelling through this stunning station and the new facility will prove to be invaluable to the local community here.”

Keep up to date with future news, projects and events from Southeast Communities Rail Partnership via their website.

Photo credit: Andy Jones, Southeastern.