CrossCountry Community Engagement Funding (CCCEF) is supporting the refurbishment of a disused Signal Box at Woolston station in Hampshire. The Signal Box will provide a resource for enhancing the work that the Three Rivers Community Rail Partnership (CRP) already carries out within the existing Community Garden, that sits adjacent the Signal Box. The building works will provide a room for use by the wider Community for a host of projects, whilst also creating a viewing base for watching rail operations and learning more widely, for example, about employment opportunities within the Rail Industry. It is intended this will be a net zero-carbon project, with solar panels positioned in the adjacent garden, feeding power to a bank of batteries to be located in the existing battery store, that was originally used when the Signal Box was in use. This modern installation will provide power and light to the refurbished building, creating a sustainable power source.
Using Volunteers from the Three Rivers CRP, the adjacent garden has been extensively improved over previous years and has become a well-used and well-loved resource with biannual events (pre-COVID-19) taking place. This has reignited ideas for the CRP’s aspirations for the adjacent Signal Box and a desire to use this building for Community use.
CrossCountry’s contribution means the scheme is now successfully funded, and the project will continue to enhance community health and wellbeing by facilitating new and existing community networks through the Signal Box regeneration. This will lead to social inclusion, accessibility, and opportunities for many to learn new skills. The Signal Box refurbishment will further involve local people, businesses, and others, resulting in economic and social benefit to the local community.