Ilkeston railway station plans to be submitted

Image caption Derbyshire County Council officials must submit their bid for funding by 25 February

An MP who headed a campaign for new railway station in a Derbyshire town, 46 years after the old one closed, says the plan could soon become a reality.

Erewash MP Jessica Lee has been campaigning with residents for a train station stop in Ilkeston, one of the largest towns in the UK without a hub.

In July 2012, the government announced a £20m fund for new stations.

Ms Lee said Ilkeston was at the "front of the queue" for a new station but the "bunting was not yet out".

She said: "We haven't yet got the station secured. However, the opening of this fund was directly a result of the whole campaign that's happened."

The project needed "just £6m" of funding and the proposal was in an advanced stage, she said.

'Great thing'

Dave Wade, a reporter at the Ilkeston Advertiser, which has also backed the station campaign, said it was hard to find anyone opposed to the plans.

He said: "We can see the benefits of bringing people into the town and benefits for getting out of the town - to go on holiday, etc.

"Ilkeston FC would also benefit by getting people in for matches. It seems like a great thing for the town."

When the new stations fund was announced, Transport Secretary Justine Greening said it had been directly inspired by Ilkeston.

Derbyshire County Council must now complete its bid for a share of the money, which must be submitted by 25 February.

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

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