Back to blog

May 2024

Community Room Opens at Bridgwater Station

From Wednesday 22nd May, the local communities in and around Bridgwater have use of a new community room at their railway station, thanks to efforts of the Severnside Community Rail Partnership, who have a vision for breathing life back into the Grade 2 Star listed building.  It is hoped this will be the catalyst for future development.



The conversion of the room has been made possible with generous support and funding from GWR Customers and Communities Improvement Fund, HPC Community Fund managed by Somerset Community Foundation, Community Rail Network and the Railway Heritage Trust. This has helped return some of the traditional features such as heritage style doors which have been handmade to replicate designs found around the station as well as the total refurbishment of space.

The rooms have had various uses over the years such as a Ladies Waiting Room and toilets and then a Model Rail shop. It then lay empty for the last decade but is now about to be reopened after an extensive refurbishment by local contractors Weston Rail Services.  The new community room offers a contemporary meeting space for up to 10 people with a large screen, wi-fi and a small kitchen facility.

The local transport group, Bridgwater Transport Forum, has been a keen supporter of developments at the station and recent projects like the “Hidden Station” artwork project with Seed Sedgemore was warmly welcomed.  The group continue to support and develop the station.

The rooms are to be named after Mike Hodge, who was a loyal supporter of Bridgwater Station and lived locally and could be often found chatting to passengers, tending the gardens or boarding a train. His fondness for railways brought him to the West Somerset Railway and for many years he was Station Master at Crowcombe with Walter Harris.  It would always be a pleasure to spend an afternoon with Mike and Jean (his wife) and his family will formally open the rooms in his memory.

Mike Hodge’s 90th Birthday was celebrated at the Bridgwater station in 2021

The importance of Bridgwater station is only going to grow with the new Giga Plant at Puriton, improved connectivity to Bridgwater and Taunton College and opportunities to explore the wonders of this historic town and the beauties of the gateway to Sedgemoor and the Quantocks.


David Northey of Severnside Community Rail Partnership said: “The transformation of a once derelict set of rooms will hopefully be the beginning of regeneration at the station and surrounding communities and place the station as a significant gateway to the town of Bridgwater”. There is still more to achieve and the various empty rooms that once bustled with passengers, porters and parcels could again see new uses, such as a Cafe, Cycle Hire, Micro Brewery, Offices. The list is endless and if you are interested in exploring the opportunities we would like to hear from you and work with you to rediscover spaces that haven’t seen the light of day since the 1990’s.


Tim Hedley-Jones, Executive Director of the Railway Heritage Trust said:“We are pleased to support this project to bring disused space back into use. Restoring features such as internal doors is all part of properly caring for our railway heritage. We look forward to working with Severnside CRP on future projects to restore this magnificent building to its former glory”.

GWR Business Development Portfolio Director, Tom Pierpoint, said: The Customer and Community Improvement Fund is a fantastic opportunity for us to invest in projects that really make a difference to our customers and communities at a local level.

“We’re delighted to support this provision of a new community room at Bridgwater station. It provides a fantastic meeting space with modern facilities which we’re certain will be put to good use. I’d like to congratulate all those involved for bringing it to fruition.”


Paul Webster, Community Rail Network Regions Support Manager said “Railway stations open up so many possibilities for travel, but are also gateways into their local community and surroundings. Unlocking the potential and finding a new purpose for these rooms at this elegant station in Bridgwater is an achievement we are really pleased to have been able to support and we are sure this will be a space the community can be proud of too. Being able to celebrate this occasion during national Community Rail Week as we highlight examples of projects that are are “More Than A Railway” is even more special and we look forward to this being a thriving space that shows the vital role our stations play in helping create a more connected, inclusive and sustainable future within the community they serve.”

For room booking enquiries please email