Each space is very different, varying from under-stairs storage to large rooms. Equally, the condition of these spaces requires different levels of attention and refurbishment.
While SWR has committed to working with groups on these projects, many of the locations will require third party funding to support the development.
If you are interested in finding out more about the available spaces, and discussing how these could be used by local communities, please get in touch with Paula - our dedicated Community Rail Manager.
First redundant space let for community use
Swaythling station building is the first property within the SWR portfolio of redundant spaces to be leased on a peppercorn rent basis and made available for community use. The agreement has been made with Three Rivers Community Rail Partnership (CRP), a not-for-profit group which receives funding from the train operator and other partners, to help further involve locals with the railway in places such as Southampton, Winchester and Salisbury.
The space, which includes two rooms, will be refurbished by the CRP, including adding heating and power sockets, before it is offered out to community groups in the area. Opportunities will be explored alongside this, including strengthening links with local schools and exploring the possibility of setting up of a ‘Free Shop Friday’ programme, as undertaken by East Hants CRP at Petersfield station. The CRP is also exploring signing leases at other locations on its lines.
Dan Wright, Support Officer for the Community Rail Network, said: “We are excited to be working with SWR to find community uses for their redundant spaces at stations. By opening up these spaces and making them available on leases community groups can afford, SWR is showing the way. We look forward to other leases being signed with community groups as this work progresses.”