Northamptonshire has welcomed the launch of the new railway station in Northampton which was officially opened today (Monday 12 January).
The £20m building, part-funded by government, is a fitting entrance to the town and the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone, and a key part of the Northampton Alive programme of regeneration.
Transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, who visited the station this morning to mark the first day of operation, said: “As part of our long-term economic plan, we are investing record amounts in building a world-class rail network fit for the 21st century.
“I am delighted that passengers in Northampton are able to benefit from this impressive new station, with further improvements to come as the work is completed.
“This, along with the thousands of extra seats being provided by £62 million of government investment, will make a real difference to passengers’ journeys.”
Councillor David Mackintosh, council leader, said: “Our town is benefiting from an unprecedented level of investment with construction and restoration happening almost everywhere you look.
“This station is a statement of our intent to ensure Northampton is recognised as one of the most progressive places in the country.”
A fitting gateway for Northampton
Councillor Jim Harker, leader of Northamptonshire County Council, said: “Regeneration work in Northampton is continuing apace and the new railway station is a fitting gateway for the town and the wider county.
“The county council is pleased to have been instrumental, including our critical financial support, in making this tremendous asset for Northampton a reality.
“The county council has continued to manage and oversee the delivery of the project and will continue with the demolition and site landscaping work to completion once the new station is operating.”
South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) funded infrastructure around the new site. Chair, Dr Ann Limb OBE DL, said: "I am delighted to see this excellent new station facility opening in Northampton at the gateway to our Enterprise Zone.
“This is the result of many years of concerted effort and significant investment by partners including SEMLEP.
Improved access to new jobs and markets
“It will encourage new businesses to locate in Northampton and improve access to jobs and markets."
London Midland is set to put the new station into operation next week, offering a much better environment for passengers.
This will allow Network Rail to remove the old station buildings so work can begin on the next phase of development in the area, a key site within the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone.
Councillor David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “This part of the project will create a multi-storey car park with the capacity to cope with the number of rail users living in and visiting Northampton.
“It will also open the way for removal of the old car park, unlocking valuable land within the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone for development.
“The area has been earmarked for commercial or light industrial use with the possibility of some small retail units nearby.”
Demolition of the old buildings will be finished later this year and the subsequent multi-storey car park build will then be started.
Northampton Borough Council will work closely with Network Rail on the new car park which will also feature a bridge, connecting it with the upper level of the new station.
This, along with plentiful dedicated parking on the same level, will make life easier for disabled people.
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