FRIENDS of Alton Station (FAS) have been awarded a £50,000 grant by the Railway Heritage Trust, bringing the group a step closer to preserving the 1892 heritage footbridge at Alton Station.

According to FAS chairman Stephen Lewis: “The trust exists to help preserve important railway structures for future generations. One of their most prominent projects was to restore Birmingham’s Moor Street station, giving it a new lease of life to serve modern train services.

“There are many other worthy projects they have funded, so it is a great honour to have been awarded some funds to help with our project.”

The donation will allow FAS to cover the ‘extra over’ costs needed to lift out the bridge instead of demolishing it, which is due to happen at the end of March 2020.

FAS already has a signed agreement with Network Rail for this to happen.

Mr Lewis said: “The challenge now is to find a place to store and work on the bridge components – these could be on two separate sites if necessary.

“We are seeking people with space where we could store the components, be it a corner of a field, garage, barn or industrial unit.

“We also need somewhere where we can work on the repairs and the construction of new components, where we can securely leave tools.”

Mr Lewis would be delighted to hear from anyone able to offer help, including donations, on 01420 544881 or email [email protected]