Kenilworth has welcomed the “wonderful news” that the town’s train station will soon be open to passengers for the first time in over 50 years.
And it is expected the move will attract around 446 return passenger journeys per day in what will be a huge boost for Kenilworth’s economy.
Cllr John Whitehouse (Lib Dem, Abbey), said it was “excellent news” that work can get started almost straight away after years of waiting.
“We have been years waiting and working for this, and it is really good news that it is all finally going ahead,” he said.
“The council officers have been quietly confident that we will get there, and now it has all finally been secured.”
He also assured that movement would not be held up by major upgrading plans by Network Rail which would instead happen around the new build.
Network Rail is planning UK-wide upgrades including doubling the tracks through Kenilworth and electrification of the line between Coventry and Leamington.
Warwickshire County Councillor Peter Butlin, portfolio holder for transport, described the funding as the “final piece of the financial jigsaw”.
Things have been up in the air over the possibility of securing the Government’s New Station Funding (NSF) all year.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin visited the town in June to announce that the bid was “very close to a done deal”, but could not confirm more until more studies were completed.
Kenilworth was subject to ongoing uncertainty and disappointment after repeatedly not being named as set to benefit from the funding pot.
And after intervening to keep things on track, MP, Jeremy Wright said: “Many people have been campaigning for many years for Kenilworth to have a station again and I have always argued for it for our town.
“This is great news, not only for the people who live here, who will have help to get around, but also for the town’s economy, as it will provide an opportunity to get more visitors here.”
The MP’s work was praised by the transport minister shortly before the official announcement.
Kenilworth’s £5million was the largest sum awarded to any one project under the NSF.
The now ready-to-go station, which is being jointly funded by Warwickshire County Council, will be served by a service between Leamington and Coventry and will include a ticket office, 90-space car park and cycle parking.
Work is due to start in May 2015 with the station opening the following year.
The new service will be run by London Midland who will also manage the station once the services are running.
Transport secretary Patrick Mcloughin’s letter to Jeremy Wright:
“I know you have actively supported the new station project and recently chaired several important meetings with stakeholders. Please accept my thanks for this work, which has been instrumental in developing options for the project and getting us to the position where the department is able to approve the bid for the new station.”