KEIGHLEY’S railway station is to undergo a £4 million-plus transformation.

The scheme, expected to take almost a year to complete, will see an extensive refurbishment of the main building and other parts of the historic station – which is used by 1.7 million passengers a year.

Work will include a facelift for the forecourt entrance canopy and footbridge, improvements to the access ramps and resurfacing of both platforms.

Details of the project come after a series of meetings, convened by the town’s MP John Grogan, over the past two years.

Among those involved in the discussions were Network Rail and operator Northern Rail, Keighley Town Council, Bradford Council and the Friends of Airedale Line. Designs are now being drawn-up and work is scheduled to start in April next year.

It should be complete by March, 2021.

The scheme has been widely welcomed, but some have questioned the length of time it has taken for a refurbishment to be implemented.

Mr Grogan says the initiative will provide a timely boost for the town.

“The original Keighley station was opened in 1847 so it is very fitting that for the 175th anniversary we are going to see a major facelift of the present site,” he said.

“After a long campaign, Network Rail is to be congratulated ­– together with its industry partners – on coming forward with a scheme that will provide a great first impression of the town for arriving rail passengers.”

Graham Mitchell – chairman of the Friends of Airedale Line, and one of the organisation’s ‘station adopters’ for Keighley – says the refurbishment is desperately needed and he welcomes the improvements.

But he adds: “It is frustrating because it’s taking so long to get off the ground.

“People who use the station every day are seeing nothing happening.

“We’re told there will be a full refurbishment – that’s great and the work is needed – but we still don’t have detailed plans so there are no specifics at the moment.

“I’ve been involved in these discussions – along with many stakeholders – and John Grogan deserves credit for bringing everyone together around the table.

“The present station dates from 1883 and it has been in a sorry state for a number of years. It looks shabby.”

Town mayor, Councillor Peter Corkindale, agrees that the site needs refurbishing and he applauds the project.

“Any improvements have got to be welcomed,” he said.

“Parts of the station have been untouched for decades and have fallen into disrepair.”

He says the revamp could also in turn help reduce the town’s carbon footprint.

“By improving the station experience for passengers it will hopefully encourage more people to leave their cars at home and take the train,” he said.

“Keighley Town Council declared a climate emergency and is looking at ways to lower the carbon footprint. This scheme can only help.”

Network Rail said the improvements would benefit passengers and other station users.

A spokesman added that the company was working closely with Northern to minimise disruption for passengers during the work.