Ilkeston railway station campaign gets government boost

Image caption Ilkeston would have to compete for a share of the £20m national fund to build a new railway station

Plans to build a new railway station in a Derbyshire town have been given a boost by the government.

Residents have been campaigning to have trains stop in Ilkeston, one of the largest towns in the UK without a hub.

Transport Secretary Justine Greening said the town had directly inspired the creation of a £20m fund for new stations across the country.

Ilkeston would have to compete for a share of the money but Ms Greening said she hoped the town would be successful.

"It was a meeting I had with her [Jessica Lee, Conservative MP for Erewash] and her local councillors that really brought it home to me," the transport secretary said.

"We needed some money set aside to make sure that new stations for communities that need them, where there is growth happening, could take place."

'Not quite there'

Ms Lee said there was now "a suitable fund to apply for the remaining funding required" for Ilkeston train station, which could cost about £6m to build.

"It appears that the pieces of the jigsaw to fund the station are falling into place, but we are not quite there yet," she said.

"I will continue to progress this important project."

She had said the the new station would have "long-term benefits" for the town and nearby areas.

It is hoped the rail link could boost jobs for residents by making it easier for them to commute to neighbouring cities as well as attracting visitors to the town.

It is thought the railway station would include hourly trains to Nottingham, Chesterfield and Sheffield.

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