From an unloved rail stop to a town's proud gateway

From an unloved rail stop to a town's proud gateway

VOLUNTEERS have turned Batley’s “unloved” railway station into a colourful gateway to the town.

Peeling paint, grime and overgrown shrubbery were just some of the issues that needed tackling.

Now the building, which opened in 1848, is much smarter after 18 months of effort.

The Friends of Batley Railway Station (FoBS) group teamed up with Birstall paint firm PPG Architectural Coatings for a final push.

A waiting room has been transformed into a potential cafe area and a mural depicts town landmarks.

Pete Myers, client and stakeholder manager for Northern Rail, admitted the station had got into a mess.

He said: “Eighteen months ago this was an unloved urban station feeding the commuter and leisure market in West Yorkshire.

“Then the FoBS came along and brought some fantastic changes to the station.

“The gardens, planters, mural and cafe look fantastic – but the difference is more one of profile, as the station can’t be ignored any more.

“It is now clearly loved and this has made a difference and so thank you from all of us at Northern.”

FoBS, led by chairman Coun Gwen Lowe (Lab, Batley West), worked with more than 100 staff from PPG through their Colourful Communities scheme.

The new look was unveiled last Friday by Mayor of Kirklees Coun Jim Dodds at a celebration.

FoBS came together in late 2014 amid concerns the roof might be in danger due to shubbery growing out of it.

They then turned their attention to more general neglect, with this scheme beginning nine months ago.

Coun Lowe said: “I’m proud to be from Batley and what we have now is a station which is a fantastic gateway to the town.”

Staff at PPG, which is behind brands such as Johnstone Paints, gave their time free.

Communications manager Veronica Horsfall said: “It’s fantastic to be able to unveil the new-look Batley train station.

“Our volunteers have put in a lot of hard work and effort over the last two weeks and the results are stunning.

“Many of our staff are based in Batley, so this is a project which has been close to their hearts.”

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