PLANS to transform an old railway station in to a community hub have been labelled as 'exciting' by the local MP.

Winchester MP Steve Brine visited Shawford Station to see the plans taking shape.

South Western Railway’s Customer and Communities Improvement Fund scheme is working with Three Rivers Rail to transform the old ticket office into a new community space.

The MP met with Phil Dominey and Matthew Evans of SWR and Mark Miller from Three Rivers Rail and received a tour of the works from the construction team on site.

Three Rivers plan to transform the station building into a community café as well as a location for the nearby Cycle Company to display a selection of their e-bikes. Local groups, such as the Cubs, would also be able to use the space for their activities.

Mr Brine said: “I’m so excited to see something finally being done with this rural heritage site after it laying empty for over 30 years.

“This will be a fantastic opportunity for the local community and will fit perfectly into the village. I’ll definitely be visiting after opening day with my family, as the perfect stop off point when walking along the River Itchen or exploring Shawford Down.”

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Mr Miller said: “Three Rivers Community Rail Partnership is delighted that South Western Railway has made this space at Shawford available for us and we are working hard to finish the project in the next few weeks. We hope this will create a tourist and leisure attraction which helps bring new life to the local area and encourages more people to visit the South Downs National Park.”

Mr Dominey, SWR senior regional development manager said: “The refurbishment work at Shawford station is a great example of the kind of community project South Western Railway has been able to support through our improvement fund. We’re delighted to have been able to help with bringing this historic railway building back into use and are particularly pleased to be working closely with one of our community rail partnerships to deliver this scheme.”

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