An agreement has been reached to give a new lease of life to a 169-year-old Grade II*-listed railway building in High Wycombe.

The Victorian Brunel Engine Shed, near the railway station, had been derelict for years before the former Wycombe District Council stepped in and bought it.

Now Buckinghamshire Council, which has restored, refurbished and extended it, has signed an agreement with Buckinghamshire New University (BNU), which plans to create a café and gallery space, which will be open to the public, along with workspace for start-up business spin-outs.

John Chilver, cabinet member for accessible housing and resources, said: “The existing building has been sympathetically restored to reflect its historic past. The original engine shed has been fitted with a new slate roof in keeping with its original Victorian character and the original timber queen post trusses designed by Brunel have been sensitively repaired.

“Large areas of new glazing now flood the inside of the building with natural light making it an attractive and versatile contemporary space.

“With Buckinghamshire New University lined up to move in soon, it’s great to see that the Brunel Engine Shed is ready to start the next chapter in its fascinating history.”

The shed, built by Brunel in 1854, initially served as the station but has served varying railway uses since then.

In addition to the restoration, a modern new zinc-cladded extension has been added, along with a new mezzanine floor which has almost doubled the floorspace.

BNU’s fit out is expected to be completed by early 2024.

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