A FORMER railway station which has stood largely disused for more than 40-years will be transformed following a lottery cash windfall.

The Old Station Building, Berry Lane, Longridge, will become a heritage centre and community area after the town council received a £221,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The cash has been welcomed by councillors who believe it will create a focal point for the town.

Richard Kirkby, of Lancashire County Council’s environmental projects team, said: “The generous offer of a grant from the Heritage lottery will provide a massive boost towards realising the restoration project and it’s on going operation.”

Longridge Town Council will now use the lottery grant to restore and refurbish the building and this will include the installation of two glazed windows to the front.

It will then become home to a heritage centre with an exhibition space and small archive, recognising its importance to the town’s history. Other community facilities will also be created, including a café, reception and information centre, as well as office space and meeting rooms.

The community archive which will be located in the building will hold copies of a large range of documents relating to local history, such as heritage trail leaflets, old maps of the town, CDs of memories from World War Two and details of the local blue plaque scheme.

The railway came to the town in 1840 to meet the great demand for Longridge Fell stone Tracks linked it to villages such as Grimsargh and ultimately Preston.

The town grew rapidly on the back of the railway as mills sprung up along it.

However, by the mid 20th Century the road network had taken over from the railway and in 1967 the last freight train rumbled along the line.

The tracks were ripped up in 1968 and it has stood mainly derelict apart from being the home of the town council.