Months of renovation work at Northern Rail’s Blackburn station have been completed by Strategic Team Group and the results have brought a fresh look for the station’s foyer and concourse for 2015.
The improvements have been extensive and included refurbishing public areas, the installation of automatic doors and new seating, bringing a bright contemporary look to the station. There has also been investment in the station’s information systems with the relocation of customer information screens and the introduction of CCTV to the station concourse.
The improvements saw a £600,000 investment and were funded by the National Stations Improvement Programme (NSIP) and the Rail Heritage Trust.
Blackburn station was built in 1888 and during the refurbishment; Northern was keen to acknowledge its rich railway past. Historic images supplied by The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Society, Blackburn Library and Community Rail Lancashire have been installed as part of the new wall panelling.
Acknowledgement of the station’s history was not just cosmetic, £30,000 of funding was secured from the Rail Heritage Trust to facilitate work to preserve and protect the roof timbers and glass in the station’s roof canopy ensuring that the new look for the station respected the historically important aspects of the building’s heritage.
Councillor Maureen Bateson, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “The Council has been working closely alongside Northern Rail on improving the station to complement our multi-million pound town centre regeneration which incorporates the important Cathedral Quarter development.
“It also supports the development of our local rail services, with plans for a more frequent service between Blackburn and Manchester on the Clitheroe line and a new service from Blackburn to Manchester via Burnley which is due to start in May this year.
“Providing sustainable public transport options is really important to give our residents more choice and viable alternatives to using the car. We will continue to work with the rail industry to further improve the external canopy and develop the station as a community hub.”
The work at Blackburn station represents just one of the ways Northern is continuing to invest in excess of £18 million of NSIP funding throughout stations in the North.
Alex Hynes, Managing Director for Northern said: “Along with our stakeholders, we are committed to investing in our stations and providing our customers with a better station environment; it is especially pleasing when we can do that while also respecting and preserving the historical importance of heritage buildings.”