The redundant waiting room on the Island Platform had been sitting empty for a number of years and had previously been set alight around 15 years ago. The existing room consisted of a waiting room and former toilets and had been home to flocks of pigeons for several years; resulting in an unsafe and unsightly space. The Community Rail Partnership wanted to bring this beautiful timber structure back into use as an Education and Community space and set about commissioning a feasibility study to see if this was viable, the report was kindly funded by Lincolnshire County Council & Community Rail Network.
Although there was evidence of previous toilets and a water source, a drains survey carried out as part of the feasibility study, showed that both supplies had been disconnected some years back. The cost to re-instate both was not financially viable – there was already an accessible working toilet on the station and we decided to install a water dispenser to provide refreshments for those using the room.
Sleaford station is Grade II listed and in October 2020 we invited representatives from the Railway Heritage Trust, East Midlands Railway (EMR), Community Rail Network and North Kesteven District Council (NKDC) to discuss the possible renovation of this building and bringing it back to life and into use. We were fortunate to have the support of the Railway Heritage Trust, who agreed in principle to fund 40% of the development costs. The remainder of the funding was secured from EMR, Community Rail Network and CrossCountry Trains.
We were also fortunate to have support in kind from Network Rail & NKDC, who helped with all the necessary planning and permissions – thank you!
We had a discussion around the external painting of the station. The station is currently painted in old East Midlands Trains (EMT) Blue and White and there was a real concern that the repaired timber and window frames would result in a mixture of old EMT and the new EMR colours of Aubergine and Grey. Given that Sleaford station is Grade II listed we decided that this would not be aesthetically pleasing and we were delighted to be awarded a further grant from the Railway Heritage Trust for the external painting of the station in Heritage Colours of Buckingham Green, Midland Cream and White; with EMR providing the additional funding. Below is a digital impression of how the station will look in its new colours.
After 16 months of planning, we were delighted to start work on this wonderful project on the 10th January 2022. The work is expected to take around four weeks to complete, with the external painting of the station to take place in late February and will take around 3 weeks (weather dependent)
We are excited to see the end result, which will provide a valuable space for schools, community groups and an office for the Community Rail Partnership officer. There is an information board displayed in the ticket office.
The initial clear out and the first lick of paint has already transformed the room beyond recognition. Please check back every week as we will be updating with photo’s to show the progress and we look forward to welcoming you to your new community space soon!
The external painting of the station has started and so far we have been extremely lucky with the weather! The trackside painting of the canopy and station bridge will be overnight works and is expected to take eight days. Positive comments have been received from passengers who are loving the heritage Green and Cream colours!
The booking office and waiting room will also received a fresh lick of paint!