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New ‘friends’ group for Ilkley railway station

The meeting at the railway station last week

Twenty individuals and town organisations met last week to consider how to improve the welcome to visitors and tourists into Ilkley railway station through a ‘friends’ group.

The public are invited are invited to a meeting on Thursday (29 July) to find out more about the group. Organiser say Ilkley Rail Station is destined for change, and should begin to look very different over the coming months.

In a statement the group said: “An inaugural meeting of townsfolk and community organisations met last week on Platform 1 with Richard Isaac, Northern Rail Regional Development Manager.

“Richard has orchestrated the revamp of a number of Rail Stations in the region in partnership with their community groups. Through this initiative, he has amassed considerable experience, with a wide range of development options and models, and considerable financial investment.

“The Rail meeting was organised through the very creative Ilkley Community Network, now in its third year of operation, and jointly Chaired by ICN Chair David Shaw MBE, and Ilkley Town Councillor Peter Mate.

“After introductions to the founding group members, Richard proposed the partnership model of ‘Friends of Ilkley Rail Station’. This involves Northern Rail working together with the town to determine priority work in the Station over the coming months, and developing an action plan for early, medium and long term aims.

“It is hoped to involve the Town and District Councils, BID and Business Forum, and the wide range of community and charitable groups. Art and design features could be developed by our Schools and Ilkley Arts Consortium. The wonderful new planters on the Station forecourt might spread into the heart of the Station, with baskets and floral displays, with advice from Ilkley in Bloom and the Civic Society.

“A Digital Display can be updated daily from the ‘Discover Ilkley’ website, and showing a complete ‘What’s On' for the day, running offers and invitations with digital links, together with additional signage. The town’s attractions and areas of special interest can be featured, and linked with the nearby Visitor Information Centre.

“The next step in the process is an initial planning meeting for interested townsfolk… developing a community-led ‘Friends of Ilkley Station Group’, who will be supported by the town’s organisations and representatives.

Friends of Ilkley & Ben Rhydding Stations meeting for all interested Individuals not linked to an organisation is Thursday 29 July, 6.30pm for a 7pm start at The Riverside Hotel outside area.

Please contact Lisa Wallis if you wish to attend.

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