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Kidsgrove Railway Station

Officials say they are continuing discussions to prevent a flagship Levelling Up scheme in Kidsgrove being derailed. The aim is to provide a new car park, station forecourt and extend the building at Kidsgrove railways station, using many from the government’s Town Deal Fund. However, the £3.85m project hit the buffers when it was discovered there are a number of unstable underground mine shafts in the area. Local representatives say they’re working hard behind the scenes to keep the project on-track and are continuing discussions with Network Rail. An officer at Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council confirmed high level discussions were still taking place. They said: “At Kidsgrove Station, we’re still under discussion with Network Rail around the foundation works for the car park. “That’s gone right to the top in terms of the chairman of Network Rail.” Council leader, Cllr Simon Tagg said the authority was still committed to delivering the scheme as part of the wider Kidsgrove Town Deal. He said: “We are still working with Network Rail regarding improvements to Kidsgrove Station and we are currently awaiting two essential pieces of information. “First, what remedial groundwork is needed and to understand the costs connected to that. “Second, how much of the money originally earmarked for HS2 can be redistributed to this project to pay for the works. “We are working closely with the constituency MP Jonathan Gullis, who is lobbying the government to ensure the funding is forthcoming for this important regeneration project.” Mr Gullis is due to meet with transport secretary Mark Harper this week, and has promised to raise the issue. He said Kidsgrove Town Board is wiling to fund a mining survey but is unable to do so at the moment because the site’s owners, Network Rail, is refusing to take responsibility for any problems the survey might reveal. Preliminary estimates suggest around £3 million could be needed to cover the coal excavation required to stabilise the ground properly. A spokesperson for Network Rail said the issue is the subject of ongoing discussions with the Department for Transport (DfT). Meanwhile, a DfT spokesperson said: “Since the announcement of Network North and the support for Kidsgrove, we have been engaging with partners to find an affordable and value for money solution to the mining remediation work in Kidsgrove.”


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