AN old train station is set for renovation and restoration.
Businessman David Crowe has purchased Cultra Railway Station and will transform it into a residential development.
The move will, he says, save one of north Down’s most famous landmark buildings.
Mr Crowe said: “Despite the dilapidated state that this building has sadly been left to degenerate to, as a local resident I couldn’t sit by and watch it go to further rack and ruin.”
He added: “Not only will we be working to improve the area, which we will be doing immediately, but for far too long this has been an eyesore for locals and tourists alike.
“This is the main rail stop for the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and this opportunity will further enhance the tourist attractions that this corner of north Down is famous for.”
Originally built in 1897, the station is understood to have been designed by GP Culverwell, replacing the previous building which was destroyed by a fire. A red brick listed building since 2007, it was originally designed in keeping with Victorian tastes.
The building is believed to have been left abandoned since the 1970s and has suffered from vandalism. Most of the interior is in disrepair and lead has been stolen, leaving the roof exposed.
A local group had previously campaigned to “Save Cultra Railway Station House”. Andrew Muir and Larry Thompson, both Alliance Party councillors, had been involved in the campaign.
Mr Thompson told the News Letter: “We were every pleased to hear when we met with David Crowe that he would restore the building properly and put back the exterior.”
David Menary, director of property consultants, BTWShiells, said: “The Cultra Station House has been in a very poor state of repair as far back as many of the local residents can remember, so it is great news that the original building is being restored.
“The regeneration of this historic Cultra landmark to a unique residential development is certain to attract significant interest when it is available on the open market.”
Howard Hastings, the managing director of the Hastings Hotel Group, said: “Cultra Railway Station, which is adjacent to the Culloden Estate and Spa, is a beautiful building.
“I am only too delighted with the news that it will be restored to its former glory.
“Mr Crowe’s ideas are very much in keeping with the area and residents and tourists alike will be able to view this beautiful building in the manner that the original architect intended.”