The campaign to re-open a train station in Ilkeston has taken a big leap forward with the Transport Secretary naming the project as one of three likely to win funding.
Earlier this year, Derbyshire County Council made a bid for £4.6 million to a £20 million New Stations Fund for the remaining cash to build the project.
MP Patrick McLoughlin announced on Tuesday that Ilkeston was one of three ‘front runners’ out of a total of 14 bids the Government received from all over the country.
The campaign to bring a station back to Ilkeston has never been so close to success. Mr McLoughlin will reveal the bid winners in May.
Erewash MP Jessica Lee provided the inspiration to the Government to set up the New Stations Fund and said she was ‘delighted’.
“This will bring visitors to the town and allow residents, particularly young people, the opportunity to get to Nottingham in 15mins, helping with work and training,” she said.
She added that this was ‘the break-through’ in making the project a reality.
Cabinet member for transport at the county council, Cllr Simon Spencer, said he was ‘absolutely thrilled for the people of Ilkeston’ –the largest town on the rail network without a station.
Erewash Borough Council gave £100,000 towards the £6.6 million needed, alongside £2 million from the county council.
The route from Ilkeston would pass through Langely Mill.