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Derelict railway station rooms to become ‘valuable community asset’ ?

FROME Town Council has agreed to take over two ‘derelict’ rooms at Frome’s railway station to create a ‘valuable community asset’. 

Frome railway station.

The town council currently has no confirmed plan for the rooms, but ideas include creating a space for the voluntary group, Friends of Frome Station, to support their ongoing efforts to improve the station; using the space as an ‘active travel hub’, providing useful information on various active travel projects in the town, and an opportunity to hire e-bikes; and a space for the display of information on the station’s railway history. 

At a recent town council meeting, cllr Steve Tanner, who proposed the idea to take over the rooms, urged the council to move ‘reasonably quickly’ on the idea. 

“The lease for these rooms don’t come around quite often – I’d say approximately every 10 to 12 years,” said cllr Tanner who highlighted that as train services have increased, so has footfall at the station, providing an opportunity to create a ‘really good community space’. 

In agreement, cllr Mel Usher said, “Normally we wouldn’t approve a proposal where somebody says, ‘we don’t know what we are going to use it for’. But actually, in this case, I think that’s good, because it’s changing so fast and I know some people have got their eyes on the space and have plans for future uses down there, so I think having a stake [in the building] will help us to assist those people.” 

The rooms – which have direct access onto the main platform – were previously occupied by a local taxi company and have been offered by GWR to the town council for use by them and the wider community. The town council has been offered a lease for a period until 30th March 2023, but it is understood that the term could be extended. 

According to a report given to councillors, a 3-month rent free period has been negotiated, bringing the total cost of the rent up to 30th March 2023 to £3,000.  

£2,000 of this cost is being grant funded by the South Wessex Community Rail Partnership, with the balance to be found by the town council. In addition to this, the town council will need to pay £1,660 in legal costs. 

Town councillors unanimously agreed to obtain the lease for the rooms from GWR. 

One Response to Derelict railway station rooms to become ‘valuable community asset’ ?

  1. A.S

    June 15, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    “the town council will need to pay £1,660 in legal costs.”

    It will be us council tax payer that foots the legal bill,no wonder Frome Council council tax portion is higher than mendip council (whom provide most of the public services).

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