Tilbury on the Thames Trust in Partnership with Forth Ports has today (30 June) secured major funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to deliver its ambitious plans to fully refurbish Tilbury’s Grade II listed historic Riverside Railway Station.

The £340,050 development grant was awarded to the Trust to develop its ‘Back on Track’ proposal which will reinvigorate the important, well-known building to restore and celebrate the built heritage and social and cultural heritage of the community.  Over the next 18 months or so, this will enable detailed plans to be developed to unlock a further £3.4M from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.  The Port of Tilbury as the owners of the building have supported Tilbury on The Thames Trust with the development of this application.

The historic railway building and cruise terminal was designed by Sir Edwin Cooper in the 1920s and formed an integral part of the historic Port’s development and growth. It is a well-used building today with regular cruise ship calls and community events taking place in parts of the building. The exciting plans include the creation of heritage, creative and event spaces, as well as a new community café and refurbishing the building interior. The plans will draw on the building’s Windrush heritage and following completion of the work, the building will be accessible all year round as a public space.

The work on the building will also benefit from Tilbury’s Town Funding. Tilbury has been given a once in a generation opportunity through £22 million of Town Funding which seeks to reconnect the town station gateway with the town centre and the riverside to create a thriving and vibrant community and local economy. 

Stuart Wallace, Chair of Tilbury on the Thames Trust and COO of Forth Ports said: “This is incredible news for Tilbury as we can now get on an deliver our vision to restore the Grade II* Cruise Terminal and Railway Station complex. The team at the trust have dedicated a great deal of time and effort to reach this stage and we are excited to get started to make it a reality. I want to personally thank the team who led on this Heritage Fund project for their dedication and commitment to making this happen.”

Lucy Emma Harris and Scott Sullivan, Board members of Tilbury on the Thames Trust, who formed Tilbury on The Thames Trust and worked together on the funding bid, commented: “Back on Track will safeguard the heritage for the future by working collaboratively with the Port of Tilbury, community and commercial users. Local people and partners will be part of the story through leisure and skills development opportunities that anchor the Cruise Terminal complex within our community. We look forward to sharing our progress with the community over the coming months.”

Some of the specific works that will be carried out include:

  • Repair of Tilbury Riverside Station interior 1920s retail units, ticket office and platform space to create heritage interpretation/exhibition spaces,
  • Integrate the Riverside Station as a key part of Tilbury Riverside through new direct access to the Tilbury-Gravesend Ferry
  • Create a café space with striking river views, providing new opportunities for leisure and socialisation for residents, visitors and cruise/ferry passengers.
  • Tell the story of the Empire Windrush and the movement of goods, people and ideas through Tilbury over time.
  • Build a sense of community affinity and attachment, though a programme of education and skills development, events, interpretation and a community grants scheme.
  • Encourage creative activity by supporting artists to take residence

‘Back on Track’ will be delivered by Tilbury on the Thames Trust in partnership with the Port of Tilbury as owners of the Riverside Station.  Both will be jointly accountable for the grant.