Volunteers set up company to save Trimley station
21 December 2011
A new company, the Trimley Station Community Trust, has been set up and hopes to officially become a charity in the new year and attract volunteers to help them achieve the goal of turning a historic building into a locally run and used asset.
The Friends of Trimley Station and the East Suffolk Preservation Trust joined forces and expertise to form the company so it could agree a short-term lease with Network Rail to take on the management of the building which was scheduled for demolition.
“It is now really full-steam ahead for those who want to save Trimley Station and bring it into community use. This new company is now negotiating with Network Rail to take on the building on a two-year lease so that they weather proof it and gain funding for their proposed future use.” said Cllr Andy Smith, Cabinet Member for Planning.
“The goal is to turn it into a community cafe, with a large meeting room and an office space. What the Trust now needs is to secure the funding it requires to make it all possible, as well enlisting the help of volunteers to carry out activities to support their aims.
“Many people signed up as Friends but now they and others are needed to step forward and help with activities like press and promotion, fund-raising, or assessing the state of the building, offering material to help improve it, or carrying out some of the necessary work. Anyone with any relevant skills or time should contact the Trust secretary Peter Wain at firstname.lastname@example.org.” added Cllr Smith.
A visit was made by the preservation group recently to Brandon Station in Norfolk to meet its Friends group and learn some very useful lessons about how a community group tackles the rescue of an unprotected building from scratch.
Network Rail has promised that if the group is successful in their efforts to protect the building and gain the necessary funding that it would grant a long-term lease for the building.
The Trimley St Mary Railway Station building was originally scheduled to be demolished early last year, but action from the local community backed by Suffolk Coastal persuaded Network Rail to hold off while alternative uses were investigated.
“Public support, from the Friends group and local residents, for preserving the building has won the day, and I would thank everyone who has either committed themselves to joining the board, or who has given up some time over the last couple of years, and the invaluable help of our Felixstowe Futures and conservation teams.
“We are very pleased that Network Rail has been so keen to work with us and now thanks to everyone’s efforts we are on the verge of getting an exciting long-term community use of the building. Now we need volunteers to help carry out some of the necessary remedial works, so the continued support of the community will still be vital.” added Cllr Smith.