The successful conservation and regeneration of the derelict Saltash Train Station was always going to be a tough challenge for anybody to take on. The station building had stood empty for countless years, earlier refurbishment/conversion plans by several previous developers had not come to fruition. The development risks and costs were stacked against a developer, unable to overcome the additional H&S considerations, Network Rail approvals, and constraints of site operations adjacent to the operational railway network. Thankfully Saltash Town Council stepped in, purchasing the building on behalf of the community, securing the future of this neglected and fast deteriorating eye sore that met train passengers as part of their first glimpse of Conwall.
The project journey for both the client, design team and contractor has been a long and ultimately rewarding one but not without many challenges. At an early stage of our appointment, Bailey Partnership, realised that this was never going to be a commercially viable project in terms of passing on realistic fee levels for such a complicated project, and in part due to our previous involvement on an earlier scheme for the site, made the decision that we wanted to see the project through to successful completion and would continue to support this as a local Corporate Social Responsibility Project.
This was an Architectural led multi-discipline appointment, working with Jenkins & Potter as the Structural & Civil Engineering sub-consultant. For Ian Newcombe, the lead designer, it was a chance to pick up and see through a project he had previously worked on some 10 years earlier. For the Interior Designer, Jesse Shillcott, it was the opportunity to develop interior proposals for a much loved building from her child-hood. Everyone from the design team to the local building contractors really put their heart and soul into this project, going the extra mile to achieve the quality workmanship and finish that can be seen in the completed works.
This project would not have been a reality without the continuing effort, dedication and persistence of Cllr Richard Bickford of Saltash Town Council, who has been instrumental in gaining the support of the community, rail users and a number of funding bodies as well as the significant financial commitment of Saltash Town Council.
The successful building envelope repairs and internal shell acted as a catalyst, capturing wider interest and bringing further funding and support for the delivery of the wider ongoing station regeneration project, including public realm and station platform improvements such as heritage style street bollards,and lighting. GWR spear head fencing is due to be installed in the coming months.
Further works are in the pipeline including the fitting out of the rebuilt extension shell to provide a modern work hub. The intention is to also secure funding to resurface the car park, install a coffee bar servery within the main multi-purpose space (which links to the small galley kitchen serving the waiting room) and fitting out of the internal space.