Work has started on three new business growth units as the multi-million-pound redevelopment of Newbury station continues.
The units will be located on the south side of the station and help to increase employment opportunities in the town.
Great Western Railway is working with West Berkshire Council and Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to deliver the scheme, designed to help support the town’s economic development.
The growth units are part of a much wider regeneration of the area. The station is being remodelled to improve customer experience, housing ticket gates inside for the first time and doubling customer flow.
Last year a new multi-storey car park opened, providing more than 160 additional parking spaces with electric car charging points and improved walking routes between the station and town centre.
That followed the opening of two new cycle hubs, which together provide 300 extra spaces and are fitted with CCTV for added security, environmentally-friendly motion sensor LED lighting and a bike repair stand.
GWR Business Development Director, Tom Pierpoint, said: “It’s exciting to see these business growth units starting to take shape. The station redevelopment meets a long-held ambition of ours to better support our customers and the wider area in a more accessible and sustainable way.
“Newbury station is a key gateway to the town and this work with our partners will help secure the economic prosperity of the region.”
West Berkshire Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development, Cllr Ross Mackinnon, said: “Our commitment of being ‘Open for Business’ has been a strategic priority for the council. We have continually supported local businesses while dealing with outside factors, such as Covid-19, with grants and other financial support. As we move forward, joint concepts such as these business units will help the West Berkshire economy recover and grow.
“In addition to the business units, improvements to the infrastructure will continue within Station Road to improve and upgrade the highway over the next year. This will include a new pedestrian forecourt area outside the station building, footway resurfacing, easier access to and from the station with two new pedestrian crossing points, and replacement of all-street lighting with Station Road.
“I’m confident that this investment from us and our partners will support the local economy to get back on track and help businesses to start, develop and thrive in West Berkshire.”
Berkshire LEP Chief Executive, Alison Webster, said: “We’re delighted to have invested Government’s Local Growth Funds into these new business growth units at Newbury Station. Our purpose is to support and invest in the local economy to achieve sustainable growth. With this investment we are delighted to work with our partners deliver their long-term strategic priorities and help businesses to start, develop and thrive in West Berkshire.”
Network Rail sponsor, Sandra Jerome, said: “The redevelopment work at Newbury station will be a great contribution to the local area. It will make for a much better travelling experience for the commuter. The business growth units will help support and grow the local economy.”
The station refurbishment, to include seven ticket gates on the north side and six on the south side, together with indoor sales and waiting areas, is expected to be completed this autumn.
Photo credit: Great Western Railway