£6 million investment for Newbury Station Approved
Friday 03rd February 2017
West Berkshire Council in partnership with Great Western Railway (GWR) has been awarded just over £6 million pounds to revamp passenger facilities at Newbury Station.
The £6,051,000 scheme will also improve connections between rail and walking, cycling and public transport, creating the railway station as a gateway to the town and helping to ensure future demand for travel is met while encouraging sustainable transport.
GWR Regional Development Manager Tom Pierpoint said:
“GWR is delighted that we will be able to improve Newbury Station and make it a gateway for the town.
“This deal will deliver improvements for our passengers at a time when we are undergoing the greatest upgrade to trains and track in a generation. The project will complement the Market Street development and will provide better access to the station for those arriving on foot, cycle and public transport.
“We also intend to provide office space for start-up businesses, which will be a great opportunity to be so well connected to the GWR network, developing and strengthening the local economy.”
The allocation follows stringent assessment of the proposed scheme by the Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with the funding coming from the Government’s decision to award the LEP over £35 million pounds in its latest Growth Deal.
In 2016, the LEP submitted its proposal for a third Growth Deal, competing with 38 other LEPs for central government investment. Their proposal focused on the need to continually enhance connectivity in the Thames Valley by highlighting that the region has seen the greatest overall growth in productivity (between 2013 and 2014) of all LEP areas (including London), and is one of only four LEP areas to score highly on measures of both economic prosperity and social inclusion, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2016).
Based on this, the LEP was able to demonstrate that government could be assured of a return on its investment and that the proposals aligned with the strapline of the Strategic Economic Plan: Thames Valley Berkshire: delivering national growth, locally.
Jeanette Clifford, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Highway’s and Transport said:
“We are absolutely delighted that we have been allocated funding for this important joint improvement project. It will allow us to future proof Newbury’s key travel infrastructure and will ensure that we can accommodate the increasing number of passengers using the station and their parking needs. It also compliments the upcoming Market Street development as an integral part of the plan to provide a brand new urban village and gateway to the town centre.”
“Our high ranking as the second highest scoring scheme across the region when assessed by the LEP confirms the relevance and vital need for this transformation.”
Tim Smith, Chief Executive of the LEP said
“We have worked hard to secure this Growth Deal funding and are pleased to be able to announce the provisional allocation of £6 million for the improvements at and around Newbury Railway Station. We look forward to seeing the full business case from Great Western Railway and West Berkshire Council as they progress this worthy scheme.”
The next stage of the project is to undertake detailed planning and feasibility work and develop a business case in order for the funding to be confirmed.
Notes to editors
Great Western Railway (GWR) provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services. We help over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year - across South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, and large parts of Southern England.
We’re currently seeing the biggest investment in the network since Brunel so we can offer more trains, more seats, and shorter, more frequent journeys and continue the network’s heritage of helping connect more businesses to new and prosperous markets. Through a series of initiatives we aim to be a good neighbour to the communities we serve and are committed to making a positive social impact in those regions. Learn how we're Building a Greater West at GWR.com. GWR is a FirstGroup company.