Folkestone Harbour: Renovation of viaduct and former railway station begins
Folkestone Harbour Company has announced details of the next stage of its ambitious renovation programme, which will focus on connecting the former railway station and viaduct to the town.
Following the highly successful renovation of the hugely popular Harbour Arm in 2015/16, this new work is designed to extend the areas accessible to the public. It will create new access to the Harbour Arm by using the viaduct that carried trains across the harbour as a pedestrian walkway.
The work, which is being carried out by Graham Construction, began during February 2017 following preliminary work that has already begun to repair the structure. The aim is to provide a direct route between the town and the Harbour Arm, via the former railway platforms, and will ultimately link with a boardwalk along the beachfront towards the Leas Coastal Park. This will improve connectivity around the harbor 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.
Preliminary work on repairing the viaduct structure is at an advanced stage, having commenced over the winter. During the coming months the area will be landscaped and new railings will be added. A staircase and lift will be constructed to provide access between the viaduct and Harbour Square, adjacent to the fountains. Care is being taken to respect the listed status of the structure and to preserve and enhance its heritage value, whilst introducing a function that is relevant to the area’s future.
Similarly, the former railway station, which in the past had become quite neglected, will be renovated to a high standard, surviving features such as the glass canopies will be restored, and the site’s heritage as a marine terminus will be recognised.
The work is an important step towards the transformation of one of Folkestone’s most iconic sites, which will help redefine the relationship between the town and the sea. Find out more about the Folkestone Seafront Development.
The Folkestone Harbour Arm will reopen for its second full summer season on March 31st, 2017. A new programme of activities and entertainment is due to be announced for the 2017 season shortly.
As work is completed on the renovation of the site’s historic infrastructure, interpretation and signage will be introduced to help tell the story of the harbour and Folkestone’s maritime heritage.