|Sketching depicting Cultra Station House |
by Councillor Larry Thompson
Cultra Station House was designed by renowned architect Charles Lanyon, built in circa 1863 and listed in 2007 when threated with demolition. We managed to secure the interest of the Environment Minister late last year who outlined his desire to “achieve a sustainable future for this building” and helped arrange a meeting with top officials from various government bodies which kick started the Save Cultra Station campaign.
Commenting on recent developments, Cllr Thompson stated “Working alongside Ulster Architectural Heritage Society and local groups such as Holywood Conservation Group we are determined to secure a better future for this building which is currently in disrepair and up for sale after it was acquired by Ireland’s ‘bad bank’ NAMA.
After sustained lobbying we were delighted to learn that NI Environment Agency have persuaded the owner to effect some repairs to the building to stop any further deterioration. Whilst we will monitor closely whether all the repairs are effected we have also been attempting to encourage and facilitate potential purchasers to develop plans for the site which will enable sympathetic restoration of the building and development nearby which does not detract from the historic and symbolic nature of the Station House. Cultra Station House is an architectural jewel in North Down’s crown and shouldn’t be allowed to fall into any further despair.”
Whilst efforts continue to safeguard the Station House and explore whether a developer can acquire and sympathetically restore the building we are also considering potential funders and government bodies who could enable restoration. Many examples exist of old Railway Station buildings transformed for public use e.g. social enterprise, crafts, food etc. and with the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum nearby a great opportunity exists to link a restored Station House with the Museum.
Anyone who wishes to be kept up to date on the Save Cultra Station campaign should ‘like’ our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SaveCultraStationHouse Offers of practical support are also welcome in order to ensure this building doesn’t hit the buffers! I can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07851 740301.