Friday, June 30th, 2017
The renovation of the former station at Folkestone Harbour has advanced considerably in the last few months. The works in the former station are part of a wider project that includes the renovation of the viaduct, boardwalk construction, and beach nourishment. Graham Construction started work in February 2017 and the changes across the whole site are beginning to take shape. Once complete the project will deliver a direct route between the town and the Harbour Arm, via the former railway station platforms, and will ultimately link with a boardwalk along the beachfront towards the Leas Coastal Park.
The repairs to the canopies on the platforms are a substantial component of the work. As a key feature of the former station, the completion of these repairs will transform this area. Other works have focussed on replacing the condemned concrete in the platform walls and ensuring that the brick face appearance remains consistent.
The route through the former station will offer pedestrians the choice to walk at platform level or on the landscaped track bed. Steps from the platform to the track bed are being installed at natural intervals and benches at either side of the wooden steps (see below) will give people the opportunity to stop and enjoy the space.
Before works started the natural flora of the site was collected and has been included in the plans for the landscaped areas of the track bed. The space will extend the area currently accessible to the public and will connect to the Harbour Arm, the boardwalk, and the viaduct walkway, which is also undergoing renovation. This will improve connectivity around the harbour itself and help enhance access between the Coastal Park, the Stade and beach areas, the Creative Quarter and other parts of the town centre, anticipating the wider opportunities that the seafront development will bring.
Development of Folkestone Seafront has required investment in significant infrastructure, including the creation of sea defences. This has been greatly assisted by a grant of £5 million from the Regional Growth Fund, with support from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, Kent County Council, and Shepway District Council. The case for this investment was built around the provision of new homes, the creation of jobs for the area and the multiplier effect this will have on the local economy. Significant up-front funding is also being provided by Sir Roger De Haan.