PLANS to reopen a railway station in a remote village have moved a step closer after it gained support from the railways minister.

Applications were made to the Restoring Your Railway fund, announced last year, to reopen Gilsland Train Station.

The proposals were spearheaded by Nortumberland County Council and Hexham MP Guy Opperman. Now, railways minister Chris Heaton Harris has expressed his support in a letter.

He wrote: "I am grateful for the work done so far by yourself, the local community, the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership, the local authorities and everyone who supports this project.

"As the Minister responsible for Restoring Your Railway I wanted to make a number of points.

"I can confirm that the reopening of Gilsland Railway Station is the type of scheme that I am keen to help progress. As you are aware, any scheme must go through the usual processes to demonstrate value for money.

"Ultimately, I want to make it clear that I am an enthusiastic supporter of the project, which on initial assessment appears to fit in with the desire of government to regenerate the north, level up, and improve transport connectivity, and economic opportunity.

"I look forward to us working collectively at DfT and across the north to turn this project into a reality."

Mr Opperman is also working with neighbouring MP Neil Hudson of Penrith and Border.