A campaign to see Market Rasen’s Station House returned to community use is gaining momentum, and it could cost less than thought.
At a public meeting last week residents added their signatures to a document to have the Station House and ticket office placed on the Community Asset Register.
This will give community groups first refusal on purchase of the five room building, which is currently on the market for £50,000.
But some at the meeting felt the grade II listed building, which it was said is in an “absolutely appalling condition” could be purchased for much less than the asking price.
Chris Padley said: “If WLDC was using its enforcement powers that it has against a listed building in such a bad state of repair the owner would sell it for a nominal sum to get rid of it and we could buy it for £1.”
Lynda Bowen, of Market Rasen Rail Users Group (MR RUG), said: “I was amazed there was not an enforcement order on it because the stonework faces on to the car park and I think it is in an appalling condition.
“You could jump through the gaps in the roof and there are more than one.
“There is a new concrete floor, but it is stacked high with rubble.
“But behind all that are some beautiful Georgian windows and the outline of a solid building.”
Positive enquiries about gaining Heritage Lottery Funding to restore the Station House have already been made. Possible uses for the building have included everything from a ticket office and cafe to an educational facility for adults with learning disabilities and a community radio station.
Ivan Annibal, who leads the recently formed Market Rasen Vision Group, said: “I have been around the regeneration game a long time and I just feel everything is pointing in the right direction with this one.”
However there were some at the meeting who felt there were other priorities in Market Rasen.
One resident said: “I think restoring the old ‘tyre’ Methodist Church,which is also on the market, would be of more benefit for the town.
“I’m not sure the railway station will be a usable asset, parking up there will always be a problem.”
Nevertheless, residents signed up to make the Station House a Community Asset and expressed interests in forming a steering group to find funding for the restoration and a use for the building.