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Groundbreaking Ceremony – New £2.3 million Burnley Manchester Road Station


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Release date: 
Thursday, 15 August, 2013

Burnley Council hosted a groundbreaking ceremony today (Thursday 15thAugust) to celebrate the start of construction works on the new state-of-the-art Manchester Road Railway Station.

Key partners, funders and dignitaries gathered to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony, including the Mayor of Burnley Councillor Frank Cant, Burnley Council Leader Julie Cooper, MP Gordon Birtwistle, and Richard Watts, Rail Development Team Manager, Lancashire County Council representing Citizen’s Rail Interreg IVB, one of the key funders of the project.

The contract to build the new station was tendered and awarded to Lancashire construction company Walter Carefoot & Sons, who are working to a completion date of March 2014, with architectural and engineering support provided by Hyder and Strzala.

The redevelopment of Manchester Road station is a top priority for Burnley, crucial to transforming the borough’s economic prospects, and is just one of the major regeneration projects underway to develop new infrastructure to support the economic growth of the town.

The station is being developed following partnership work with Lancashire County Council; Citizens Rail Interreg IVB; the East Lancashire Community Rail Partnership, Northern Rail and Network Rail in advance of the re-instatement of the Todmorden Curve, which will allow direct services to Manchester in less than 1 hour. These improvements are likely to see a strong increase in passenger numbers at the station, which is already Burnley’s busiest station.

Council Leader, Councillor Julie Coopersaid: “It’s full steam ahead now to construct the station, which will accommodate the forecasted increase in passenger numbers when the Todmorden curve is reopened and when the University Technical College opens.

“For some passengers it can be the first impression they get of a town, and with the transformations underway in Burnley, with new schools, college and universities, it is important that visitors arriving, or passing through see the ‘new’ modern, changing Burnley. This is a vitally important project for Burnley’s future economic growth.”

Richard Watts, speaking for Citizens’ Rail Interreg IVB project commented that: “This is a significant project demonstrating the importance of rail connectivity as a driver of local economies.  The station will not only offer the normal range of facilities but provides a base for the East Lancashire Community Rail Partnership and the Northern Rail Community Ambassadors.”

County Councillor John Fillis, Lancashire County Council Cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: "We're at the start of what will be a new and more prosperous time for Burnley as a result of being able to travel to Manchester in under an hour thanks to the restored Todmorden Curve.

"The redeveloped Manchester Road railway station is an important part of this and it's exciting that the process is now underway.

"Lancashire is already due to benefit from considerable investment in its transport infrastructure over the coming years and it will be an added bonus."

Dyan Crowther, Route Managing Director, Network rail said: “Rail travel across the whole country is at an all time high and set to continue to grow. The new Manchester Road Station and Todmorden Curve will complement  our plans for the North including the Northern Hub and the redevelopment of Manchester Victoria, significantly improving services between the two centres.”

Colin Carefoot, Managing Director, Walter Carefoot & Sonssaid: “We are looking forward to building this new facility for the Council, and delivering it to their high expectations. As a Lancashire based company, we will have a strong focus on ‘keeping it local’ and will be doing our utmost to reinvest back into the local economy by using as many contractors in the area as possible. We also plan to work closely with Burnley College and other employment initiatives to provide placement opportunities for students and apprentices in Burnley to gain experience first-hand on the scheme.”

The station was originally built in the current location at Manchester Road in 1886. This station was, in turn, closed on 6 November 1961 and subsequently re-opened on 29 September 1986. By the time it was re-opened, the station building, had been sold out of railway use for use as a dairy storage and distribution facility. The site was purchased by Burnley Council and Lancashire County Council in November 2011 with the aim of bringing the building back into rail use. Additional funding secured from the Interreg IV B programme for ERDF programme following a submission by Lancashire County Council secured the green light for the development to become a reality.


Construction & commitment to using local workforce Walter Carefoot & Sons have secured the contract to construct the new station building at Manchester Road Station following a demanding procurement exercise. The new facilities will include a ticketing office, community room, shelters, improving the entrance for pedestrian use off Manchester Road and over fifty car parking spaces. The building is being constructed reusing stone from the original building that has recently been demolished on site, and also has a striking rendered feature ‘fin’, a glazed skylight and curtain walling to the front entrance.

Carefoot have been established since 1929, and have worked for Lancashire County Council for the past 50 years. Just over ten years ago, Carefoot were given the opportunity to be considered for Lancashire County Councils partnering framework, and in the last three years alone have successfully delivered over 85 projects for the Council as a preferred partner. Carefoot’s relevant experience includes the recently constructed £3 million Nelson Bus and Rail Interchange and current projects on site include extensions to schools, new build offices, hospital, residential care home and listed building refurbishments throughout the North West region.

Funding: The project is being funded by Burnley Council, Lancashire County Council, the European Regional Development fund through the Interreg IVB NEW programme; and Network Rail

Citizens’ Rail Project: The Citizens Rail project sees partners from Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands come together to focus on local and regional railways.

As well as looking to develop and improve rail services and facilities, the Partners will be working together to better engage communities with their local railway, including the planning of new and improved facilities and breathing new life into rundown or disused stations, such as Manchester Road Station.

There is a wealth of experience among the Partners – including Lancashire County Council and subpartners Burnley Borough Council and UCLan – and they will be sharing tis in developing and taking forward schemes that will form part of the overall Project

The project began in May 2012 and runs until September 2015. The total budget is 9.03 million euros of which 50% is being funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg IVB NEW Programme.



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For: Buses, Schools, Libraries, Registrars Office, Highways, Social Services

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