Cirencester’s derelict Old Station building could be revamped and brought back into use under plans revealed this week.
The Grade II listed building, next to the Old Station car park off Tetbury Road, was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1841.
The railway was closed in 1965 and the building has been derelict for a number of years and fallen into a state of disrepair – a cause of concern for many in the community.
But at a Cotswold District Council cabinet meeting on Monday, councillors agreed to allocate up to £16,500 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund for a feasibility study on the development of the Old Station and the Old Memorial Hospital cottages opposite on Sheep Street.
Councillors will be working with Historic England on the project, with cabinet set to decide the building’s future in October.
A report presented to the council’s cabinet stated that a proposal is being developed with local community organisations and the Old Station will provide ‘much needed office and meeting spaces’.
Alternative uses for the building will also be considered.
CDC leader Joe Harris said it was a ‘scandal’ the building has been allowed to fall apart.
“For too long this hasn’t been seen as an asset it’s been seen as a burden. That is a perverse point of view,” he said.
“We have an opportunity to ensure this building doesn’t befall the same fate as the Old Memorial Hospital.”
Cllr Gary Selwyn said he was ‘thrilled’ after ‘years and years of walking past a derelict building that potentially could be so much better’.
“The buildings on Sheep Street have always been below the acceptable standards we should tolerate.
“If you go in the front door and turn left there’s a cupboard. That cupboard has got mould all over it because the gutters have been leaking for the last 20 years. It is covered in mould. It is unusable.
“Where it says in the report ‘it is in need of some investment’ I think that’s a marvellous understatement.”
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The development of the buildings would mean The Living Memory Historical Association, based at the Old Memorial Hospital Cottages, would be required to move.
The charity runs exhibitions showcasing life in Cirencester during the war.
Cllr Harris promised to work with the organisation to ‘make sure you have a long term future so the good work you do is enjoyed by generations’.
“I’m sure there is space we can find at the Corinium Museum,” he added.
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