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23 Feb 2024

New project puts local community at the heart of Southeastern's Battle Station

New project puts local community at the heart of Southeastern's Battle Station: Battle Station-5

  • The disused former station master’s house was officially opened by Huw Merriman MP at Battle, East Sussex.
  • The building has now been turned into a community hub.

The magnificent listed building, adjacent to the station ticket office, has been unused for many years, and had started to fall into disrepair. Major work by the building owner, Network Rail and operator Southeastern, has transformed it into a multi roomed community space, ideal for small groups to meet. Grants were also received from from the Railway Heritage Trust and the Community Rail Network.

The Southeast Communities Rail Partnership (SCRP), the community interest partnership which works to connect local communities with their railway, has been instrumental in working with Battle Town Council to develop the space and find tenants for it. In recent months various groups have expressed an interest in using the space for the benefit of the local community.

The space was officially opened earlier today by Huw Merriman MP, both the local MP for Bexhill and Battle and the rail minister. They were joined by Cllr Vikki Cook, mayor of Battle Town Council; Baron Hendy of Richmond Hill, the chairman of Network Rail; and Steve White, the managing director of Southeastern.

Introducing the speakers, James Abbott, chair of the 1066 Line Community Rail Partnership (part of the SCRP) said :- “One of the aims of community rail is to link railways with the communities they serve, and this project does that, bringing an unused railway back into community use.”

In officially opening the building, Huw Merriman MP said :- “This is a magnificent building, built in 1852 to recognise the significance of Battle. And I really welcome this project, it’s fantastic to see the building being brought back into use for the community. I’d like to see this done across the country. I wish this initiative every success.”

Cllr Vikki Cook responded :- “ It is my honour and my privilege to accept these keys for the station masters house on behalf of the people of Battle. I would like to thank SCRP, Network Rail, the Railway Heritage Trust, Southeastern and many others for their work on this amazing renovation and redecoration, and fantastic asset for our town.”

Baron Hendy, chairman of Network Rail added :- “It’s a joy to see railway buildings become an asset for the local community. I’m grateful for the support of the Railway Heritage Trust and all the other partners who have worked so hard on restoring this wonderful building and bringing it back into use.”

And Steve White, MD of Southeastern, concluded :- “We want our stations to be an asset for the communities we serve, as connecting people and places helps us to add social value and support the local economy. Battle is one of the finest examples of neo-Gothic architecture on the railway today, and we are very proud to be its current custodian. It looks fantastic following the recent restoration work we’ve carried out with our partners, and I’m sure our customers will really enjoy travelling through this stunning station and the new facility will prove to be invaluable to the local community here.”

Contact information

Emma Owen

Notes to editors

Southeastern Press Office
0330 095 9091   

About Southeastern

SOUTHEASTERN is owned by SE Trains Ltd, a subsidiary of the Department for Transport’s public sector owning group, ‘DOHL’. DOHL has responsibility for four rail companies, LNER, Northern Trains Limited, TransPennine Trains Limited and SE Trains.

Southeastern is the trading name of SE TRAINS LIMITED. Registered in England under company 03266762. Registered office address: Second Floor, 4 More London Riverside, London SE1 2AU.

SE Trains Limited is a subsidiary of the Department for Transport’s Operator of Last Resort Limited - ‘DOHL’.


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