PLANS to transform Newport railway station into one of the region’s best are on track following the announcement of a business-led project.

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This week Newport Business Association (NBA) signed an agreement with National Express East Anglia to formally ‘adopt’ the 165-year facility - and plans are already afoot to give it a long overdue facelift and make it “welcoming, attractive and secure for businesses, residents and visitors alike”.

Work will be carried out across four zones and will take about a year to complete.

A renovated front entrance, refurbished bridge, repainted and decorated buildings and replanted and landscaped wild flower areas are in the pipeline.

There will also be planted shrubs and flowers at various points around the station to encourage birds, bees and butterflies to thrive and propser, while NBA will be working closely with regional ramblers and walkers to create 10 new walks from the station into the countryside.

NBA founder Jeremy Rose said: “Newport is a gateway to the village and serves the most important rail line in the region. Making the station brighter and better is good sense for business and community alike.

“Working with National Express we can create a station to be proud of and can make it a real hub of the village.”

The station serves over 200,000 passengers every year yet was last decorated 10 years ago. It has fallen into disrepair with graffiti and litter, while the bridge is rusted, with peeling paint and lacking non-slip surfacing to the stairs.

Over 100 businesses signed a petition to support NBA’s initiative demanding action to restore the facility.

“Residents have told us that the station could and should be made to look better,” said Mr Rose. “National Express has been proactive to our ideas. 1987 was the last time the station won a ‘best award’. We truly hope to make Newport a winner of the station adoption awards next year.”

National Express area manager Alan Neville was equally pleased with the agreement. He said: “I am passionate about station standards which don’t stand still; they move upwards and onwards. Newport station does need a little TLC.

“I like to work within the community and have found someone in Jeremy [Rose] who fits in so well with our ideas about community involvement.

“I’m chuffed to bits that Newport Business Association has started this adoption process.”

For further information call Jeremy Rose on 01799 541114 or e-mail nba@c-lutions.co.uk

• Alan Neville will be at the monthly Newport Business Association meeting at the Coach & Horses pub, Newport, Essex on Friday November 26 at 7.45am.

NBA has been set up to discuss and take positive action on issues that concern the business community in and around Newport. Membership is open to all organisations.

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