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Folkestone harbour railway station project to open in spring

The renovation of the former Folkestone railway station, set to open in spring, is progressing well, according to developers.

The walkway – similar to the revamped harbour arm – forms part of the seafront masterplan containing shops, cafés, bars and 1,000 homes on the seafront.

The scheme has already cost £74 million and will eventually see some apartments towering 14 storeys high.

Renovation work at Folkestone Harbour Station
Renovation work at Folkestone Harbour Station

Up to 100 homes should be occupied within three years while a residual waiting list of potential buyers has exploded into the thousands.

Of those, half come from local areas and the rest are from further afield, London for example.

Folkestone Harbour Company(FHC) spokesman Peter Bettley said the development will include 10,000 sq m of retail space.

The long-term multi-million pound project is due to be finished by 2038.

Mr Bettley said: “The former station area will provide a sheltered space for people to walk, sit, eat and drink, and maybe even watch entertainment and listen to music.

“We have almost finished. Now we’re cleaning up and installing a lift for disabled access.

Folkestone Harbour Station
Folkestone Harbour Station

“We have carried out extensive repairs to the platforms and the station canopies so that we can create a space that is enclosed from the weather.”

Wooden seating now lines the edge of the railway tracks in front of revamped platforms, from where traders will sell their goods.

Sticking with the railway theme, the company hopes to use train carriages for traders to work from.

Meanwhile, a detailed planning application is expected to be launched this year.

Mr Bettley said the company has no idea at this stage how much the final project will cost overall.

He said: “The biggest challenge we have is the weather where the new apartments will have to withstand harsh conditions at times.

“A lot of money has been spent and our goal is to make a profit.”

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