Work has officially started on Northampton’s new £20m railway station.
A ‘turf cutting’ ceremony took place at the station today, and in the coming weeks foundation piles are being driven into the ground, marking the start of construction.
The beginning of the work follows extensive archaeological investigations and site preparations.
John Markham, chairman of West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC), said: “After years of planning, design and securing resources, seeing work start on the station is a special moment for the town. The scheme is at the forefront of Northampton’s regeneration.”
At twice the size of the present station, the 2,500 sqm building will offer more capacity and improved facilities, including bigger and better shops, cafés and waiting areas.
Councillor Jim Harker, leader of Northamptonshire County Council (Con, Kettering Rural), said: “The redevelopment of Northampton Railway Station is a key element in the regeneration of Northampton and in bringing prosperity to the county as a whole.
“The County Council is pleased to be playing a major part in the project, working with partners to bring it forward today. Northampton Railway Station is the principal gateway to Northampton and it is right that we should all work together to give it the importance and status that it needs to attract more inward investment and create a prosperous economy.”
The station will open in Autumn next year. Longer-term phases of the development potentially include a 1,270 space multi-storey car park, as well as a 28,000sqm commercial development.
Councillor David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “At last we will have a railway station worthy of a town the size and importance of Northampton.
“As a key gateway to the Enterprise Zone, this will be a facility we can be proud of and will present a fitting welcome for visitors to our town.”