As the one millionth passenger boards the Cambridgeshire guided bus this month (January), local businesses or social enterprises are being offered the chance to share in a slice of the busway route’s railway heritage because the former station building in the village of Histon is being offered for commercial let through property consultancy Carter Jonas.
The station building in Histon was closed to railway passengers in 1970 – over 120 years after its original opening to serve what was then a railway line operated by the Wisbech, St Ives & Cambridge Junction Railway company.
The station building – which is being offered to let by Carter Jonas as a whole or in part - was saved from demolition during the construction of the Cambridgeshire guided busway whose route now runs in front of the building just as the previous railway track did. The guided bus stop for Histon and Impington is located a bit further down Station Road outside the Railway Vue pub.
The station building’s canopy – so distinctive of the style of district and village railway stations in their heyday – remains intact but, having been derelict and out of commission since interim business use just before construction of the guided busway there in 2007, Carter Jonas advises that the building itself needs significant repairs.
Happily, Carter Jonas partner and joint head of the firm’s commercial agency in the region, Ben Oughton confirms that the landlord will contribute to repair costs by way of a rent-free period to be negotiated with any prospective tenants.
Ben Oughton says: “The building would be suitable for a variety of uses, subject to planning, such as boutique retail, café or something in the social enterprise field.
“Perhaps, even as studio-style offices for a business in the creative or media sectors whose owners might be attracted to Histon and the northern fringe of the city as a business location but who are looking for something other than the offering at conventional business park settings in the area such as Histon’s Vision Park or further in to the city at St John’s Innovation Park or Cambridge Business Park.
“Whatever the motivation is, this is a rare opportunity for any business to have a unique set of premises at a noteworthy and distinctive location that very much bridges the gap between the past and the present of transport in the county.”