AMBITIOUS plans to redevelop the Melksham Railway Station site as part of a £250,000 scheme have been announced this week.

The TransWilts Community Rail Partnership has joined forces with Great Western Railway to work on a masterplan for the site .

It will provide a new community cafe, 53 new car parking spaces and a bus interchange to improve public transport links.

GWR has now agreed to the principle of leasing the land from Wiltshire Council and taking on responsibility for the laying out and operation of around 75 car parking spaces at the station.

TransWilts chairman, Paul Johnson, said: “This deal is another step forward on a project the CRP has been working on for over a year.

“GWR have studied the plans and believe they would be a valuable addition for rail passengers as well as others in the local community.

“Here at the CRP, we now have to look at funding sources to ensure the community cafe comes to fruition.”

Mr Johnson estimates they will need £70,000 to £100,000 for the community cafe. Car park improvements will be covered by charging passengers. Currently, users can park free of charge.

Passenger numbers for the station have risen from just 10,000 in 2013 to more than 75,000 last year.

Dan Okey, the GWR Regional Development Manager, said: “We have seen phenomenal growth in customer numbers and have doubled the number of carriages on the route.

“We believe very strongly in community rail and in this route and we want to see it continue to grow.”