Station Building – to Let. What is going on? Well. what was going to be a quiet week (for us) suddenly changed when we were invited to a meeting being held by Network and Northern Rail managers to review their future plans for the station building now that the core and shell works were complete. Northern had decided that it did not require any space in the building, so Network Rail decided to advertise for a tenant for the building (noticeboards are up), but due it’s ‘quirky’ layout they did not expect there would be a single commercial tenant for the building. In that case, Network Rail would prefer to let to a single (community) tenant who would do the fit out and manage its use – namely the Station Building charity group. Network Rail stated that a long lease term (25 years) might be possible for the Station Building Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), and that the rental of the lease would depend on what activities were in the building. The more community activities the lower the rent would be, but if more commercial the rent would be higher. Network Rail will only accept a single tenant – who could sub-let, bearing in mind that any non-community activity could attract higher rents. The running of the building must be viable – some income from all users. The CIO Trustees were invited to – • Work out demand and potential usage of the building • Produce business plan to show what would be an economic business model for the operation of the station. • Negotiate lease with Network Rail • Appoint architect/project manager • suitable design for fit out works – water, electricity etc • and estimated cost of works, so that can develop funding package for the works. Interesting times ! At present, there will be no access to/from the building via the platform. Rooms on first and second floors will be via steps only – suitable for private studios etc. We hope to have a meeting with the railway soon in order to clarify their conditions. Once we have an outline plan, we will be calling a Public Meeting to discuss what the community want. So, some of our aspirations for a community hub in the refurbished station building. Ground floor – step-free. A café reading room – Library with community café, also available for drop-in centres and other social functions during the day. Becomes a community meeting room during the evening. The Station Partnership is already associated with the Community Rail Lancashire and all their socially inclusion projects – their recent Autism Aware train. Likewise, we are ‘twinned’ with Bentham station and their internationally acclaimed Dementia Awareness project. We would consider similar facilities here at Mytholmroyd – plus educational projects on safe and responsible train travel for the youngsters at our local and regional schools. First and Second floors – steps only (at present). Private studios for artists and other creative people – who we know, are all around this district. These are just a few of the current ideas on possible community uses – must be many more……. So, it could be up to us, the local community what happens to the station building!

Quite a while since we have been ‘on-the-air’ or Blogging! Not that we have not been busy – far from it. The Mytholmroyd station project is going from strength to strength. More community schemes are afoot – planning for a garden for the young cub scouts and others to call ‘their own. Station Building – renovation work complete and it is superb. Now looking how the local community might be able to run it as a Hub. More to follow….

Fanfare for local Business is an area of youth engagement devised three years ago by the Mytholmroyd Station Partnership’s creative group. Each year one of the three local primary schools in the area visit a chosen local business; followed by an art workshop led by member – Annie Lawson, assisted by Brenda Greenwood, Jane Truscott and Sue Mitchell. The resulting work created is displayed as colourful posters on the station and gateway to the village for twelve months, available for all to admire including friends and relatives of the school children. Previous years, the young artists have been to other Mytholmroyd manufacturers – Calder Weaving and to Walkleys Clogs. Mytholmroyd Station Partnership Three cheers for Calder Primary and Urban Cottage. Photo: Gerald Townson This year we arranged a visit by staff and pupils from Calder Primary School to Urban Cottage Industries; a progressive, employee co-owned UK manufacturer, designing and making innovative light products and based in a former trouser factory in Mytholmroyd. Calder Primary School, recently relocated from Cragg Vale to Mytholmroyd, has appreciated this involvement with the Station Partnership and a local business which has helped the settling-in process. Friendships have been formed, including staff at Urban Cottages Industries as well as the Partnership members. Mytholmroyd Station Partnership A happy time was had by alll. Photo:Geoff Mitchell The celebration of ‘Fanfare for Local Business’ was led by the newly elected Hebden Royd Mayor, Cllr Dr Carol Stow who ‘unveiled’ the new artworks in front of invited guests together the youngsters, their proud parents, relatives and friends. The Mayor praised the objectives of the Partnership members to engage with the local community and youngsters in such projects that encourage the use and care of their village railway station. The Station Partnership hopes to expand this involvement with the whole community when the old station building is renovated and becomes available for social use. Our present plans are for Railway Education sessions – for the schools and others in the village and Calderdale to encourage responsible and enjoyable travelling by train. Mytholmroyd Station Partnership Photo-Geoff Mitchell The Station Partnership enjoys the respect, support and encouragement from many outlets including Northern Rail, Association of Community Rail Partnerships, Network Rail, our local Town and Regional Councils, businesses and individuals which is a reflection of the goodwill of the community. Thanks go to the Mayor and to Urban Cottage Industries directors Stan Wilson and Jonny Steel – with a special mention for Sue Mitchell who organised the whole event from the initial enquiries to the unveiling by the young artists – truly a great community project and outcome. Mytholmroyd Station Partnership welcomes anyone who has an interest to improve the village railway station and surrounding area. There is not only the station garden to tend, but a variety of projects with the local community such as this Fanfare for Local Business. Which lucky local business should we ask next year? Photo by Gerald Townson of Bentham station

Three cheers for Calder Primary and Urban Cottage- Photo Gerald Townson

 

An attempt to give a brief account of a very long saga. The building was closed to the public in the 1980s and became derelict. Several years ago, the Station Partnership started discussing the future of the building with the owners, Network Rail. In recognition of the community work the Partnership members have done in the last 12 years, the new Northern franchise specifically requires that Mytholmroyd Station Building be restored for social use. Work has now started on the renovation of the building to what it was when it closed over 30 years ago – Network Rail are presently working on the walls, floors etc. The Railway Heritage Trust will then restore the historic artefacts. The Arriva North will furnish the building to their operational requirements and (hopefully) allocate accommodation for community use. Hundreds of ideas and hours of discussion have taken place between the Partnership, the railways and the local community. A Station Building, Mytholmroyd charity (1174609) was formed last September and commissioned a Feasibility Study sponsored by Northern, Hebden Royd Town Council and the Architectural Heritage Fund to research possible uses. The consultants presented their Report to a public meeting in February 2018. Like all big projects associated with large corporations, the Station Building proposals are constantly evolving. During the coming week for instance, Station Partnership members have arranged a meeting of the railway educational development team and the Heads and officials from our local schools. The initial idea is for the Station Building to become the railway educational centre for West Yorkshire area. We also have the possibility of local history archives and exhibition spaces in conjunction with a walking/cycling information hub. These are just a few of the ideas. The Station Building Trustees consider any suggestions but have to be aware – 1. It is an operational railway station – subject to safety and railway bye-laws. 2. No new activity should jeopardize existing local business/activities. 3. New ventures within the building will have to be viable without relying on annual grants/subsidies. The Station Building trustees hold public meetings when there are new developments and welcome suggestions and practical assistance with this massive project which will benefit the local community. Details of the project can be found on https://mytholmroydstation.wordpress.com/ Email address is communityhub.myt@btinternet.com