A crowdfunding drive has been launched to help restore Levenshulme’s former South Station into a cycle café, with a team including the Railway Heritage Trust and the Architectural Heritage Fund looking to raise a further £50,000 to re-open the building next summer.
Work has been ongoing for the last 18 months on the project, which is looking to restore the former South Station building for community use. The building on the A6, erected in 1892, was formerly used as the K+K Cash and Carry but has remained empty for a number of years. The station closed to the public in 1958.
The team, led by local residents and backed by Railway Paths, the Railway Heritage Trust, and the Architectural Heritage Fund, has already invested £200,000 in the project.
A funding drive to attract another £50,000 of investment to help repair the building and fit out its interior has now been launched; this will include restoring its floor and installing a bar and cycle parking facilities.
If the funding target is exceeded, additional money will be used to create an accessible path from the Fallowfield Loop cycle path. Subject to securing funding, the cycle cafe could open in summer 2019.
Pauline Johnston, one of the director of Station South, the company looking to restore the building, said: “We know this is a building of local, historical significance and want to preserve Manchester’s rich railway heritage so we developed a plan to engage meaningfully with the landlord, convincing them that this building has a bold and bright future for another mode of transport – cycling.
“Now we need all the public’s support to get us in the building to make the dream a reality.”
The project has also been backed by Greater Manchester’s cycling and walking commissioner Chris Boardman, who said: “I love the idea of bringing an old station building back to use for something that will really help contribute to the community, and to get more people making journeys without cars. I want to wish everyone involved in the project the very best of luck with their fundraising.”