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Micro brewery plan for Warwickshire station after new lease deal





Pictured this week looking forward to a bright future for Henley Station was Chris Duffin, secretary of the Friends of Henley-in-Arden Station, right, and Sue Bird, volunteer head gardener. Photo: Mark Williamson H21/5/21/9025. (47090686)
Pictured this week looking forward to a bright future for Henley Station was Chris Duffin, secretary of the Friends of Henley-in-Arden Station, right, and Sue Bird, volunteer head gardener. Photo: Mark Williamson H21/5/21/9025. (47090686)

THE signing of a 25-year lease will set in motion a series of projects that will see Henley’s railway station brought back to life.

The Friends of Henley Railway Station, along with Beaudesert and Henley Joint Parish Council, have adopted the station building after 18 months of negotiations with Network Rail.

They will pay a peppercorn rent for the building, allowing funds to go into work restoring the site to its original state, retaining as many features as possible.

Chris Duffin, secretary of the friends group, said: “The building will then house a community café and microbrewery and provide a link to the Heritage Trail and Heritage Centre in Henley.”

The restoration will be paid for through grants and a crowdfunding scheme - the train operator, West Midlands Railways, the Community Station Partnership and the Friends of the Shakespeare Line have committed some initial funding to help get the project started.

“We also have commitment from the Community Rail Partnership and the Railway Heritage Fund to look to provide further grants for this project,” Chris added.

Network Rail has completed building surveys, which means that one of the next steps is to get architects’ drawings.

However, the plans go beyond the building itself.

“As part of the project we have commissioned and are about to release a treasure trail, which will run along the whole line, with clues at Moor Street station, Henley and Stratford,” said Chris. “The idea is to promote more tourists along the route of the Shakespeare Line, which has many stations within the Warwickshire catchment area. Like many towns, Henley struggles with car parking and we feel that this project will actively encourage more visitors to our villages and towns to travel by rail, thus reducing carbon emissions.

“We are also working with Severn Trent to find ways to retain water on the project site and to make use of brown water waste. Bicycle stands and solar panels will also feature as part of the project to ensure that we hit as many green credentials as we possibly can.

“We have already secured funding for the first Shakespeare Garden in the UK to be positioned on the old sidings of the railway track at Henley. Again, this offers a great tourist attraction for Warwickshire.”

Any businesses interested in sponsorship can email friendsofhenleyrailwaystation@gmail.com.



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