Burnham Station House

Burnham Station House was built in 1888 as part of the Southminster Branch Line, renamed recently as the Crouch Valley Branch Railway, from Southminster to Wickford. Its main use was to house the station master. Although the branch line escaped closure in the 1960s by Beeching, as it was used to supply the nearby Bradwell nuclear power station. However there was no longer a station master at the station and the house was used for storage and as a base for the British Rail Yacht Club. By 1980 it was empty, vandalised and used by rough sleepers.

The branch line provides off-peak services to Wickford with direct services to and from London Liverpool Street during rush hour, thus allowing the town's inclusion in the London commuter belt and supporting tourism. The Station House is the first building seen by tourists arriving by train.

 Burnham Town Council wanted to take on the station house, for approx 20 years but although several attempts were made to make this happen, it was never possible.

In 2014 a partnership was formed between Burnham Town Council, Essex County Council and Abellio Greater Anglia and Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership with the aim to refurbish the house and use as a community hub with the objectives below:

  • Providing local communities, artists, and start-up businesses with meeting, workshop and event spaces
  • Supporting the delivery of programmes and events which contribute to community cohesion, creativity and employment
  • Providing meeting places and resources to support a business development programme
  • Providing space for and updating tourism information

Essex County Council provided funding of £56K made up of £40K from the Economic Growth and Development team and £16K from the Cultural team, Abellio Greater Anglia provided £19k towards the project, with a total budget of £75K. Burnham Town Council has committed to underwrite the net operating cost of the building, estimated at approximately £7k pa. Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership provided the funding to produce the business case.

Building work started at the end of March 2015 and was completed by the end of May 2015, it’s been a very exciting project, turning a very sad empty house alive again, reducing vandalism and encouraging social inclusion.  The building is now available for hire (with further details available from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

 

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