The buildings around Beccles railway station are set to be revamped
In recent years Beccles has benefited from improvements to the train station. Unfortunately a lot of people have got off the bus to be greeted by dilapidated and unused buildings. However this looks set to change as these buildings will be turned into a tourist office, rented office spaces, as well as a fitness centre and community studio.
It was the wish of well known businessman and late owner Arthur Crisp that the railway station would serve as a “gateway” for the town. Sadly in 40 years this has not been the case. While there are shops, garages and so forth nearby the station can be a tad misleading, making the town appear smaller than it actually is. This is something the Beccles and District Regeneration Company are looking to change.
Green Party councillor Graham Elliott has been working with the Crisp family over the past two years on the project and firmly believes it could be massively beneficial to the local area “We want to create a thriving hub of activity that, along with CCTV, will put an end to the vandalism that has plagued the railway station.
“There is tremendous enthusiasm for this project from railway users and people walking their dogs on The Common, with many people saying they will use the cafe and other facilities as soon as they are ready.”
Christine Pinsent (Chair of Beccles and District Regeneration Company) is keen to emphasise the benefits to the town both in terms of improved facilities but also benefits to local businesses “We want to offer quality training facilities and a good venue for meetings for those travelling from London, Ipswich and Lowestoft with the hourly train service. With trains passing at Beccles it makes a great place for people from either direction to meet.”
A lot of work has gone into this project and those behind it are ambitious. It will be interesting to see how it turns out. If it all comes off as Arthur Crisp originally envisaged it could be a massive benefit to the town, providing it with the first impression that the town deserves.