24/10/2022 - Permalink

Historic 19th century railway building doubles up as community venue

Related topics: Community / Economic growth / Leisure, culture and heritage / Partner organisations

Shrewsbury Railway Heritage Trust has been awarded £11,000 from the Community Asset Pilot Grant Scheme administered by Shropshire Council.

The funding has been put towards various improvements to Abbey Station in Shrewsbury to make the venue a comfortable space for visitors and the wider community.

This pilot grant scheme was made possible through the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), which is Government funding from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) that aims to provide direct business grants and wider business support as part of the recovery from the pandemic.

Abbey Station, Shrewsbury

Abbey Station, Shrewsbury

The station, once a terminal for The Potteries, Shrewsbury and North Wales Railway and the Shropshire & Montgomeryshire Light Railway, has undergone approximately 20 years of restorations to slowly develop as a community facility. Through the hard work of both past and present councillors and trustees, and with financial assistance from local councils, the venue is now a comfortable space for its users and visitors.

The grant funding has provided some practical upgrades for the venue, including insulation for the roof, side wall and floor in the Main Room – all of which will contribute to a properly heated venue as the winter months approach.

Abbey Station, Shrewsbury

Inside Abbey Station, Shrewsbury

Philip Davies, chairman of the trust, shared:-

“Last winter one of our board members, Michael Llewellyn, discovered that Abbey Station’s heat-retention properties were non-existent, and any heat we provided was completely lost overnight even with the heating on!

“We are delighted to say that, after the recent improvements, the running costs for heating and lighting have now reduced by an amazing 90 percent. Kitchen facilities will be installed in the second smaller room, and we are currently working on designing and installing professional display panels to tell the story of our railway heritage. We have purchased a projector and will be installing Wi-Fi soon.

“Abbey Station is a superb community asset for Shropshire residents – and was donated to the trust under the Shropshire Council Community Asset Transfer scheme.

“A big thank you to Shropshire Council, and the staff who have helped us with our grant application. They have been very helpful with progressing the project, which is greatly appreciated. Abbey Station is available to community, charitable and social organisations (and not-for-profit businesses) in Shropshire. The future looks exciting!”

Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for health (Integrated Care System) and communities, said:-

“Shropshire has a wealth of historical buildings to be celebrated. It is fantastic news to hear that Abbey Station has been renovated as a community facility so the trust can share its story and heritage, whilst also benefiting the local community. I wish them a prosperous future.”

Mary Davies, local Shropshire Councillor for Abbey, said: –

“This is a terrific transformation for this historical building. To have this much-improved facility in the locality is a bonus, and I am sure it will be enjoyed by everyone in the area and beyond for years to come”.

If you’d like to enquire about booking Abbey Station, please contact Philip Davies at: philipdaviesbusiness@gmail.com or write to SRHT, Abbey Station, 192A Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, SY2 6AH.