Published: 13:00, 14 February 2017
| Updated: 13:12, 14 February 2017
The next stage of the eagerly awaited Folkestone Seafront redevelopment will see the harbour station renovated.
Designs released by Folkestone Harbour Company, which owns the land and is overseeing the multi-million pound project, show what the restored harbour station will look like.
The new plans form part of the town’s seafront regeneration and when it is completed, the work to the station will connect the town centre, Creative Quarter and the hugely popular Harbour Arm.
Work is already being carried out to restore and repair the historic and listed harbour viaduct and swing bridge and the harbour station work will begin later this month.
The viaduct, which once carried trains into the harbour, will become a new pedestrian walkway for people to walk along the old platforms, down the tracks and onto the Harbour Arm pier.
Peter Bettley, from Folkestone Harbour Company, said: “The aim is to provide a direct route between the town and the Harbour Arm, via the former railway station platforms, and will ultimately link with a boardwalk along the beachfront towards the Leas Coastal Park.
“This will improve connectivity around the harbour itself and help enhance access between the Coastal Park, the Stade and beach areas, the Creative Quarter and other parts of the town centre, anticipating the wider opportunities that the seafront development will bring.
“During the coming months the area will be landscaped and new railings will be added.”
The first stages of the work to repair the viaduct is now at an advanced stage after builders moved on to the site through the winter.
A staircase and lift will be fitted to provide access between the viaduct and Harbour Square by the fountains.
Mr Bettley said: “The former railway station, which in the past had become quite neglected, will be renovated to a high standard, the surviving features such as the glass canopies will be restored, and the site’s heritage as a marine railway terminus will be recognised.”
Work is being carried out by Graham Construction, who have been on site during the winter.
The Harbour Arm will reopen for its second full summer season on March 31.
The new pier was welcomed by residents and visitors and proved a popular attraction after the first season in late 2015 before a full summer programme launched last year.
A new programme of activities and entertainment is due to be announced for the 2017 season in the next few weeks.
As work is completed to renovate the station and the viaduct new history information boards and signs will be put in place to tell the story of the harbour and Folkestone maritime history.
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