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How the money will be spent
We have received quotes for compulsory public liability and employer's liability insurance, totalling over £3,500 per year. Our Crowdfund target of £3,500 will grant us the necessary insurance to enable us to sign the contract with Network Rail and in turn, potentially unlock funds from a heritage organisation.
We have also received scaffolding and roof protection quotes from local companies. This not only gives us the scaffolding required to repair the roof, but also the necessary roof cover to prevent any further damage.
Network Rail have waived a substantial five-figure asset protection fee, as they consider our project to be a non-recoverable community scheme. From hereon, crowdfunding will be crucial for our efforts, until we confirm an agreement with an organisation we are currently talking to with regards to funding.
I founded the Middleton Towers Restoration Group in July 2021 with one initial aim; to fully restore the former railway station site to be used by the local community. As of late 2023, we are a group of over 700 railway enthusiasts, engineers and tradespeople who want to see our community effort come into fruition. After over two years of research, phone calls, emails and negotiations, we are edging very close to the commencement of work on our project.
On 7th September 1968, the Lynn and Dereham railway closed to passengers, ending over 120 years of use and marked the end of what is now a much-needed rail connection between King's Lynn and Norwich, via Dereham.
Middleton Towers served as the first station on the line and remains to be the only station to have retained some track. The station now serves as a freight-loading point for silica sand from the local Leziate quarry run by Sibelco UK Ltd.
The former ticket office and platform access room are in dire need of repair and these buildings are owned by Network Rail. The station house however is in great condition, but this privately owned by Sibelco. We are currently in discussions with Network Rail to obtain permission to renovate their portion of the site.
A consensus amongst our members is that under our plans, the site would serve as a public tea room and as a museum for the former King’s Lynn to Dereham railway.
Please note: whilst we share a similar name, our group is not affiliated with Middleton Castle which is situated next to our operations. We highly recommend giving them a visit. Their website is: www.middletoncastle.com