The station in County Armagh, Northern Ireland is set to receive £2.4 million from the European Regional Development Fund.
The funding – secured by Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy – is to go some way to paying for the total £3.6 million cost of the scheme. The remaining balance will met by the Department for Regional Development.
The award comes from the INTERREG IV Programme and provides funding towards the alterations, extension and refurbishment of the existing railway station.
The work includes redesign and modernisation of the current passenger waiting facilities, new lift access from the Obins Street entrance, new lifts installed improving access between all train platforms, new automatic doors throughout the station and enhanced exterior appearance.
Danny Kennedy announced the news whilst visiting Portadown with Pat Colgan, Chief Executive of the Special European Union Programme Body (SEUPB) who supported the application, and Translink Chief Executive Catherine Mason.
The Minister said:
“This successful funding bid recognises our efforts in promoting greater cross border travel cohesion and our drive to improve the rail network infrastructure in Northern Ireland.
“One of my key objectives in investing in public transport is to encourage commuters and other travellers to consider using public transport for their journeys as a credible alternative to the private car, and to travel more sustainably.
“With annual footfall at Portadown Station now approaching 900,000 making it the fifth busiest station on the rail network, this improvement programme will benefit Northern Ireland and cross border passengers.”
Catherine Mason, Group Chief Executive for Translink added:
“We are transforming this station into a modern, high quality facility for both our customers and employees. The contemporary design is in keeping with the recent public realm enhancements made to revitalise the town centre and we are already starting to get positive customer feedback regarding the new lifts, airbridge and the station frontage which is becoming a new landmark feature for the town.
“Our project team are working hard to ensure the work continues to progress on schedule. With real time information already available on journey checker and our new train timetable being introduced from 6th January next year, together with our new trains and range of value for money tickets for both commuters and leisure travellers, we hope even more people will choose to use the train for journeys both to and from Portadown.
“We are very grateful for the funding from the DRD and the European Union, INTERREG IV Programme to deliver this important project” she concluded.
“When the work is complete the station will offer greatly improved facilities for all passengers and will resolve the current accessibility problems, making it fully compliant with disability legislation.”
The Minister went on to meet staff from Translink and representatives from Felix O’Hare Limited, a local company who won the contract to carry out the renovations.
Felix O’Hare have been established for over a hundred years and during that time they have been involved in diverse construction projects in both public and private sectors including education, healthcare, office, retail and refurbishment.
The Company holds many industry recognised accreditations including Safe-T-Cert, Construction Line, ISO 14001 Environmental System and ISO 9001 Quality System.
Work on the station is due to be completed by December 2013.