Station on track for artisan cafe

WATCH THIS SPACE:  The historic Blenheim Railway Station has a new tenant.
WATCH THIS SPACE: The historic Blenheim Railway Station has a new tenant.

The Blenheim Railway Station has a new tenant after more than two years on the market.

It was a good birthday yesterday for Havelock man Jeremy Harris, who found out he had been chosen as the new leaseholder for the historic building.

Harris, who turned 52, said he and his partner, Leanne Banno, planned to turn the building into a cafe offering artisan food, with a space to showcase Marlborough crafts and produce.

"We want to make it like a Marlborough marketplace that will draw tourists into an area where they can sample goods manufactured in Marlborough," he said.

The KiwiRail-owned New Zealand Heritage Trust building, which has been vacant since renovation work in March 2012, would be left as it was, he said.

The couple hoped to begin work on the interior in the next four to five weeks after resource consent had been approved.

They were anticipating an October open, Harris said.

Harris and his partner first considered using the space last summer.

"We thought it was such a shame it wasn't being utilised," he said.

"There were a lot of people waiting for buses, and we thought it was crazy they couldn't go inside the railway station."

They were "absolutely stoked" to get the building, Harris said.

The building was designed by the famous railway architect George Alexander Troup and opened on July 19, 1906.

A KiwiRail spokeswoman said the company could not comment until the process had been finalised.

The Marlborough Express