A PROJECT to transform a disused railway station into a heritage centre has been officially unveiled.

The £550,000 scheme to convert the Old Station Buildings, Berry Lane, Longridge, has been in the pipeline for eight years.

The town council received a £221,600 grant for the project from the Heritage Lottery Fund in September 2008, and work eventually began earlier last year.

Now the site has been turned into a hub for residents and visitors, who can enjoy a host of new facilities including space for meetings, a local archive, exhibition space and a themed cafe.

The outside area of the Old Station Buildings will function as a public square to stage events and community projects during the summer, thanks to a donation from Brett Landscaping.

And in keeping with the building’s former use, Brett Landscaping’s ‘Alpha Antique’ block paving has been laid to depict the old railway tracks which were first installed in 1840 to carry stone from Tootle Heights quarry to Preston.

It was officially opened by the Ribble Valley mayor, Coun Lois Rimmer and Longridge mayor, Coun Jim Rogerson.

Rupert Swarbrick, the chairman of Longridge Social Enterprise Company who led the project, said: “The Old Station has been funded with 13 different grants.

“There is also funding to run the site with two heritage officers, with the assistance of the history society and 20 volunteers.”

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