THE Chairman of Network Rail Sir Peter Hendy CBE visited Llanelli today, Thursday (Aug 22).
Sir Peter met with Nia Griffith MP, trustees of the Railway Goods Shed Trust and local councillors to look at ways in which he could help take the regeneration project forward.
The first port of call was an old signal box adjacent to Llanelli’s railway station. Sir Peter had a tour of the signal box an gave his verdict on some of the plans for its use.
He said: “My note of caution is that they are a liability. We are very keen that communities are able to use redundant railway facilities. The community has to go into it with their eyes open. It needs to be properly planned and worked out. We’ve got a lot of redundant signal boxes being used as cafes museums and offices. What’s important is that it is sustainable. The railway is the most extraordinary place. They have their own style of architecture and it is great to see places like this being placed back into use.”
Nia Griffith MP was clear that the scale of the ambitious project was monumental but said that people were positive and optimistic that it could go ahead. She said: “We are very privileged to have the chairman of Network Rail visiting to see the signal box and the goods shed. We have the opportunity of taking these over from Network Rail. People are very positive. It is a very large project. It is a matter of putting the jigsaw together an having different funding from different sources., We have had a lot of help from the County Council money from the railway heritage trust an you have to bring everything together to make it work. Nobody wants to see a building falling apart an becoming more and more dilapidated . What people want to see is a restored building and that will lift the area.”
Following his visit to the railway goods shed Sir Peter said: “It is a huge project an what I have said is clearly you can turn this building into something of value to the community. The art ss to get contributions from everywhere you can imagine and have a realistic business plan so that the money goes into something with a sustainable future. It will be a great thing to do for Llanelli.”