Warwickshire County Council is working with West Midlands Railway to engage a tenant for the ticket office at Kenilworth Station.
The current tenant is vacating the station at the end of September, with the county council’s portfolio holder for finance and property keen to ensure that local community groups have the first opportunity to take advantage of the opportunity.
Visitor figures to the station greatly declined at the start of the pandemic when people were instructed to stay at home. A decision was taken to reduce the service at the station as a temporary measure but that is being reviewed with West Midlands Trains working to resume the hourly service as soon as possible.
As more people start to return to the workplace as well as travel around the county for shopping and excursions, visitor figures are expected to pick up and return to the level of February 2020 where they had been seeing a steady increase.
Situated at the heart of a busy community, the station also features a bridge which is a public right of way and is used by many residents in the west of the town to use as a short cut to access the main town centre. It is also near Kenilworth School and on the route home for many of the young people there.
The Visit Kenilworth website was recently launched, promoting the town’s historic features as well as its many shops, cafes and restaurants. This is further expected to increase footfall to the station.
The new Kenilworth Station was completed in 2018 and is a modern building with a ‘blank canvas’ for new tenants to stamp their identity on it.
The ticket office has been used to provide refreshments which Cllr Peter Butlin, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for property, sees as an outstanding opportunity for further development. He says:
“When we opened Kenilworth Station, the ticket office was seen as an area for real potential for development.
“The station was well-used and we fully expect that thoroughfare of human traffic to return in the coming months as we start to emerge from the pandemic. Indeed, as people look to get out and about after such a lengthy period at home, it could well see visitors increase. We shall see but we are very hopeful.
“But there is more to Kenilworth Station than simply being a place where you can catch a train. It is on a route into town for many people who use the right of way over the train track as a short cut. The building is a delightful mix of old and new, stylishly incorporating some of the historic aspects of the old station in its décor, yet is modern and airy. It is a ‘blank canvas’ on which any potential tenants could stamp their personality and really make it their own and we would welcome that.
“It also features outdoor space for seating. We would be delighted if local community groups had first refusal on taking up the tenancy and taking advantage of the business opportunity it offers. Our experienced team of business support officers can help with advice and support for anyone looking to set up a business or social enterprise.”
Anyone interested in discussing the business opportunity at the station should, in the first instance, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
Advice, guidance and support to help start up a business or social enterprise are available by contacting Warwickshire County Council’s Business Support team. Further details can be found at https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/businesssupport