BYFLEET’S derelict Victorian fire station has been saved after a 15-year campaign.

The Byfleet Fire Station Trust has announced that the historic building will be sensitively restored and handed back to Byfleet as a community hub and important historical asset.

Surrey County Council has committed to supporting the project and has begun appointments for the formal planning and build programme to begin.

The council, acknowledging the listed and heritage matters that need to be addressed, will do all the external works, which it will fund, starting immediately.

The News & Mail understands that the council will then hand the building to the trust on a long lease and the trust will use the £35,000 it has raised through crowd-funding and other events to pay for the internal fit-out.

Once the trust has assessed the cost of the fit-out, it plans to approach the Your Fund Surrey scheme to raise any extra money.

Should it be unsuccessful, it will continue to run fundraising events such as last year’s Fire Station Fun Day. The trust will also have a stall at the Byfleet Parish Day on 16 July.

Surrey County Council believes it will take two years to renovate the building, with the keys being handed over in 2024.

Cllr Amanda Boote said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been part of the team who have been able to save our wonderful Victorian fire station.

“This building is unique and precious, and it will now be fully restored to its former glory for all our future generations to enjoy.

“I would specifically like to thank the leader of Surrey County Council, Tim Oliver, and Graham Glenn, of its property services team, who have been instrumental in getting approval to fully renovate the listed building and pass it to the trust to safeguard part of Byfleet’s heritage.

“Also the Fire Station Trust, as well as the residents and people from around the world who have donated to our crowdfunding and fundraising.”

The campaign to save the fire station started some 15 years ago when local residents, led by Julian Temple and Jim Allen BEM, created The Friends of Byfleet Fire Station as the building fell into disrepair after being left empty for decades. It had closed in 1963.

The Friends team secured Grade II nationally listed status for the building in 2008 as it was in danger of being demolished and the site turned into flats.

In March last year, the Byfleet Fire Station Trust was formed, led by Cllr Boote, to persuade Surrey County Council that there was a viable use for the building within the community.

Mr Allen, chairman of Byfleet Heritage Society and founding member of the Byfleet Fire Station Trust, said: “This building, some of which is 140 years old, is a significant part of Byfleet's conservation area.

“It served the area for nearly 100 years as a fire station, and it is excellent news that it is to be restored for the benefit of the community.”