Manchester

Irlam railway station house reopens after £2m makeover

Irlam station before and after Image copyright Salford council
Image caption Irlam station house has reopened exactly 122 years after its original opening

A railway station house, once seen as an "eyesore", has been officially reopened following a £2m makeover.

The building in Irlam, the busiest unmanned station in Greater Manchester, has been restored after lying derelict for nearly 25 years.

Salford Mayor Ian Stewart said it had been "totally transformed from an embarrassment to somewhere the whole community can be really proud of".

More than 240,000 passengers use the station, built in 1893, each year.

Local resident Margaret Vaudrey said the renovation was "a joy to see".

"After many years of neglect, the once-solid old building had slowly become derelict, an eyesore with boarded-up windows, slates missing from the roof and birds flying in and out of it.

"It's been wonderful to watch its transformation back into such a fine-looking station."

The restoration has introduced a café, toilets, cycle hub and a 60-space car park.

Image caption The station's design has been inspired by the heritage of the railways

Mr Stewart added that Salford City Council was planning to build an accessible ramp for the Liverpool-bound platform later this year.

The project received £300,000 from a local charity, the Hamilton Davies Trust.

Its founder Neil McArthur said: "We wanted to help regenerate the district and create a landmark... by restoring the old station house to its former glory."

The transformation is part of a bigger project to regenerate the whole site.

"Irlam Station will hopefully become a must-visit location for residents from neighbouring communities, whether for leisure or their daily commute," Mr McArthur added.

Image caption Irlam station house dates back to 1893