Restored facade of Kirkgate Railway Station revealed

THE RESTORED facade of one of Wakefield’s most historic buildings can now be seen after scaffolding erected as part of a £4.6m renovation project was removed.

Work began on the scheme last summer

Work began to restore the Grade II-listed Kirkgate Station last August, and over recent months work to the front of the building had included stonework repairs, a new roof and glazing.

The new and improved facade can now be seen, but some scaffolding will remain for the next few weeks.

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Work on the project, which includes building a new cafe, retail space, offices, business units and meeting rooms, will continue until spring. The regeneration is being led by charity Groundwork, which secured funding from a number of partners including Wakefield Council, Metro, and the European Regional Development Fund.

Ground breaking ceremony at Kirkgate Station as £4.5m project gets underway thanks to the award winning Express Staff Our Station campaign. (W523E339)

Harjinder Sandhu, corporate services director at Groundwork Wakefield said: “We’re delighted to be able to show residents and station users what we have been working on for the last few months – now the external frontage restoration is more visible to everyone the momentum is beginning to build towards completion in Spring 2015.”

As part of the wider scheme, Groundwork won Heritage Lottery funding to collate memories of the station from past and present residents of the Kirkgate area.

Mr Sandhu said: “We are keen to hear from any residents who have lived in the Kirkgate area or used Kirkgate Station, who can help bring this project to life by sharing their stories, or assisting with capturing the stories of others. We are also interested in hearing your ideas about future events that will help us to continue to bring the station to life.”

Derrick Charlton, 83, travelled to a project event from his current home in Haddington, Scotland, to share his memories.

His father and uncle worked for the railways and he lived for a time in the Station Master’s house, in the yard at Kirkgate Station.

Mr Charlton said: “There was a set of two houses, semi-detached, with a large front garden and many rooms. It was located in the stations yard area, which it shared with the cattle pens and dray house and stables. There was a full time manager living on this stable side of the site too.

“It was a thriving place, with people and goods coming and going. For my brother and I, this was a fabulous playground.”

To help with Kirkgate Calling, contact Lisa Mew on 01924 302488 or by emailing [email protected]