Youth council adopts Thetford railway station

A group of teenagers has entered into a formal agreement to adopt Thetford railway station in the first partnership of its kind.

Following 18 months of negotiations with National Express, Thetford Youth Council now hopes to improve the appearance of the station and make it a more desirable place for commuters and visitors.

It is the first agreement between National Express and a youth group and places responsibility on the council to ensure the station is kept neat and tidy and to report any issues.

The youth council also intends to engage community groups and individuals which it hopes will offer further ideas on how to enhance the area, which will be discussed at a public meeting scheduled for December.

Youth support worker at the council, Mike Wilkinson, said the group had initially contacted National Express to find out how the station could be improved and was told about its station adopters scheme.

Mr Wilkinson added: “We had to convince National Express we had good intentions and good ways of managing it and that they were a responsible group and that they would engage with others.

“The young people have said they want people to look at the station and see what’s good about the town and I think the significance for them is that it’s a high profile project which people in the town hopefully feel they would like to get involved in. It gives them a sense of pride as well.”

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The group already has plans to introduce hanging baskets, plant troughs, and artwork to replace boarded up windows, amongst other ideas.

Members will monitor the station weekly and provide a monthly audit to National Express, which leases the station from Network Rail, and who they signed the agreement with in spring this year.

National Express East Anglia area station manager, Alan Trett, said he was pleased with the agreement and added: “I am sure their enthusiasm and commitment will make a positive contribution at Thetford station.”

A public meeting will be held on December 8 at 7pm at the King Street Baptist church on King Street, Thetford for people to find out more. For more information contact Mike Wilkinson on