Petersfield station converted into a welcoming travel and tourism information hub
- £7K conversion transformed the Petersfield station old parcels office into a travel, tourism information hub to welcome rail visitors to Petersfield and the South Downs National Park.
- Working together funding was provided by ACoRP, a local train operator, and East Hampshire Community Rail Partnership.
- South Western Railway leases the office to ACoRP free of charge.
Petersfield, a small Hampshire town located in the South Downs National Park, sits on the direct line from Waterloo to Portsmouth. The station’s former parcels office, which had long been a redundant and unused space, was transformed into a travel, tourism information hub to welcome rail visitors to Petersfield and the South Downs National Park.
The community rail partnership officer, Mark Miller, said: “We turned this room, which had become a general dumping ground for the station, into a travel, tourism information hub that welcomed rail visitors to Petersfield and the South Downs National Park.”
The renovation was achieved thanks to local business and rail organisations working together to fund and support the project. ACoRP’s small grants fund provided £2,100 for the project, which was match-funded by a local train operator. The rest of the funding, amounting to around £3,000, was provided by the East Hampshire Community Rail Partnership.
The partnership used the services of Community First, a local volunteer service, to provide volunteers to clear and paint the room. This work was supplemented by East Hampshire District Council and supported by representatives from Tesco, a local train operator, South Downs National Park, East Hampshire District Council and the East Hampshire Community Rail Partnership.
Nearly 900 visitors came through the new travel and tourism information hub doors during the 2016 season. The partnership employs a member of staff to open ‘The Hub’ Wednesdays to Sundays from early August to end of October.
Conversion of the former station parcels office shows what a community partnership can achieve in using redundant space to provide a useful facility to visitors arriving at the station. Its success was down to persistence and partnership working.