Ilkeston station: Government gives conditional backing
A Derbyshire town is in line to get a new railway station following an announcement by the government.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has confirmed Ilkeston is one of three schemes "most likely" to be built with the £20m new station fund.
Campaigners, who say the town is the largest in England with tracks not to have a station, said they were delighted at the news.
A final announcement about the £6.5m project will be made in May.
Ilkeston once had three railway stations but lost the last one four years after being axed in the Beeching report of 1963.Sustainable scheme
Erewash MP Jessica Lee said the announcement was "hugely significant" and was a result of a team effort between local and county officials and other campaigners.
She added: "It's not just about train travel, although that is obviously important, this is about the wider social and economic benefits for Ilkeston as a town.
"This will mean young people can get to Nottingham in 15 minutes - which will help with jobs and training - and it will bring jobs and visitors to the town."
Ms Lee said that once final approval was given it was possible the station could be open within a year.
The fund is targeted at "shovel ready" projects which can be delivered quickly to provide benefits to passengers and the economy.
The Department of Transport said the scheme, which will provide 75% of capital costs, was designed to deliver new stations which were sustainable in the long-term, so bidders must set out how the station will be operated, including staffing and maintenance implications.
Derbyshire County Council has already said it will spend £754,000 on the project.