The prestigious awards took place on Wednesday, the 6th of December, where the schemes were awarded ‘Highly Commended' as part of the Avanti West Coast Community Award and The Hendy & Pendle Trust Volunteers Award, respectively.
Hollingbourne station in Kent saw an abandoned, derelict structure undergo a complete make-over which saw the creation of a brand new community cafe and hub which can be used throughout the year by local community groups and customers. The project saw an investment of £130,000 made by Southeastern and £11,400 from Rail Heritage alongside support via Kent Community Rail Partnership.
Eynsford station saw the provision of accessible toilets and a waiting room which were created using heritage colours. The project was led by Derwent Valley Community Rail Partnership with support from Southeastern and also saw new interpretation boards installed which feature local information and historical detail.
The Railway Heritage Awards cover the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland and this year saw 50 entries made from community groups, private individuals, companies, public authorities and rail operators.
Southeastern was also proud to sponsor the Commercial Restoration Award, which was awarded to the impressive restoration of Findlater's Corner at London Bridge Station by the Arch Company, Benedict O'Looney Architects and Frankham.
Steve White, Managing Director at Southeastern, represented Southeastern at the ceremony and added:
“The Railway Heritage Awards recognise the best efforts to restore and conserve our historic railway infrastructure. With such a high level of entries, it was fantastic to see four projects on our network recognised, including our joint project with Community Rail Partnerships at Hollingbourne and Eynsford.”
Therese Hammond, Project Officer, Sustrans:
“Kent Community Rail Partnership would like to thank Southeastern for making this project possible. The restoration of the derelict ticket office has provided the community of Hollingbourne with a much-needed community space and café in which to meet.”
“The community hub is run solely by an enthusiastic, committed and highly skilled Community Interest Company (CIC) and they have already managed very successful events such as a heritage day, a Christmas fayre and cinema nights! Many more events are planned for the local and wider community and we look forward to welcoming you very soon!”