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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Full steam ahead for Millom discovery centre as visitor numbers boom

THE success of a popular tourist attraction will enable railway users to benefit from a £30,000 renovation of Millom railway station.

The Discovery Centre and ticket office, which is run by Millom Folk Museum Society on behalf of Northern Rail, will also receive funding to employ a fifth ticket officer enabling it to open later.

While London’s Waterloo Station is recognised as the busiest in the UK based on total passengers, with more than 100 million travellers passing through each year, the society says figures obtained from Northern Rail show Millom station is the busiest station per capita in the UK.

The station will see an extensive refurbishment including a complete overhaul of its waiting area with new seating.

Jim Partridge, treasurer of the society, said the group have secured funding from Northern Rail for the new officer, and are recruiting for the position.

He said: “Originally everyone thought the ticket office was going to close but now it is financially stable, and Millom Discovery Centre is making a profit. Now the rail group has asked us to expand operations.

Mr Partridge says Northern Rail has granted funding for the next two years for the new ticket officer, who he says will be in place by the end of July.

The society is also in talks with Copeland Community Fund, which is working with Nuclear Management Partners to secure the funding for the refurbishment Mr Partridge said: “You can never say 100 per cent but we are confident we will have the work done by the end of the year. It is great because all the people in Millom who have used the Discovery Centre are effectively improving their own services.

“We are hoping that the ticket office will now be able to stay open until around 7pm, and that will increase the amount of money we can raise through ticket sales.”

The society, which was formed by the late Millom Councillor Roland Woodward, has also recently renovated the Network Centre.

Mr Partridge said: “When Roland died everyone thought the ticket office would close, but the finances are steady at the moment and we will plough everything back into the office and the discovery centre.”

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