“The Adopt a Station scheme is an excellent initiative, and whether it’s in the Borders or Greenock and Inverclyde, it helps bring life back to stations and helps turn them into community facilities once again,” said Stuart McMillan MSP as he spoke in the Adopt a Station members’ debate in the Scottish Parliament today.
The Adopt a Station programme enables members of the local community to volunteer at ScotRail stations. Under this initiative, volunteers can apply to do anything from take part in gardening, all the way through to repurpose part of a station for community use – such as create a community shop, art gallery or heritage centre.
Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan highlighted the work of the Greenock and District Model Railway Club and their adoption of the Fort Matilda Station and the Friends of Wemyss Bay Station and their work in that station as examples of how the Adopt a Station initiative has worked in his constituency.
Fort Matilda Station it was taken over by the Greenock & District Model Railway Club, which obtained necessary approvals for conservation work and improvements to make the building into a clubhouse.
Commenting, Mr McMillan said:
“The Greenock and District Model Railway Club have done a tremendous job in turning what was a shell of a building at Fort Matilda back into something that is now once again an asset to the community.
“’The ‘Fort’ is an example of what can be achieved by turning a disused station into a hub of activity which is beneficial to the local community, as well as to the users.
“The Greenock and District Model Railway Club took on Fort Matilda station in 2010 and since then the station has improved immensely.
Mr McMillan added:
“The Friends of Wemyss Bay Station formed in 2009 part of ScotRail’s ‘Adopt a Station’ campaign. Their initial aim was concerned with the restoring the floral displays for which the station had been famous.
This follows a £6m upgrade to the pier, completed in March this year, and a £4m renovation by Network Rail of the station.
“The Friends of Wemyss Bay Station were given the use of empty accommodation which they have restored and now takes the form of a second-hand bookshop and exhibition area as a means of raising funds and making contact with local people and the travelling public, whose appreciation of our efforts is very welcome. I have seen this bookshop form its first iteration to its present state and what an excellent job has been done.
“I know from visiting the station on a number of occasions and meeting with the Friends that they have taken a lot of pride in renovating the station and creating a pleasant environment for commuters and tourists.
“Thanks to groups like the Friends of Wemyss Bay Railway Station and the Greenock and District Model Railway Club, both Wemyss Bay Station and Fort Matilda Station are once again contributing positively to Inverclyde’s landscape.”