A HISTORIC railway station in South Tynedale is set to be revived after £74,328 was secured for a new visitor attraction at Slaggyford.

The Government-led North East Rural Growth Network has awarded the funding to the South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society, which is leading the scheme.

It will see the restoration of the old station building at Slaggyford, which closed in 1976, as well as the creation of a new waiting room, ticket office, shop, cafe, and public toilets.

A replica signal box will be built controlling a traditional gated level-crossing, as well as a new car and coach park.

The scheme is part of the society’s grand plan to extend its steam train attraction, which runs along the old narrow gauge line from Alston to Lintley Halt.

The society has already secured £5.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will enable it to re-open the stretch of line from Lintley Halt to Slaggyford. And as it revealed two years ago, the society has ambitious plans to revive the narrow gauge line all the way to Haltwhistle, by 2022.

Mr Craven said: “The station at Slaggyford was closed by British Rail in 1976 and it has remained unstaffed since 1954.

“Strategically the scheme will secure the next step in a much bigger and grander scheme to re-open the line to Haltwhistle and connect it into the main line system within the next six years with significant associated benefits to the rural economy.”

The new attraction at Slaggyford is set to create three jobs, and will complement the society’s recently opened visitor centre at Alston station.

The South Tyne Trail, which runs alongside the railway, is also being improved as a fully accessible footpath and cycle route.

The latest funding has come from the North East Rural Growth Network, set up by the Government in 2011 to stimulate economic growth in rural businesses and communities.

Work is expected to begin in the next few months, and is scheduled for completion by April 2017.

Extending the line to Haltwhistle would cost around £17m. Mr Craven said funding streams are still being explored.

It would bring an estimated 100,000 visitors per year, creating 50 jobs, and would see viaducts at Lambley and Haltwhistle brought back into use.