THURSDAY, March 28 saw the official grand opening of the recently refurbished Crediton Station Tea Rooms (CSTR).

After extensive planning during the last two-plus years, The Crediton Station Tea Rooms, run by The Turning Tides Project Community Interest Company (TTTP), has received a full refurbishment of the WC area in line with listed building consent.

The refurbishment pays homage to the heritage of the Joseph Locke and Isambard Kingdom Brunel building on the Dartmoor and Tarka Railway Line.

The Crediton Station Tea Rooms is an extension of The Turning Tides Project's philosophy; an #Inclusive environment where you can relax, be a part of the community, book training space, volunteer, get work experience, read a book, drink tea and be welcome.

The WC area now encompasses TTTP’s approach and aims – creating an accessible space for all.

It is not an exclusive or institutional space for disabled people, it is a space for the whole community.

It includes a functioning Tea Rooms that just so happens to demonstrate a social model approach and be staffed by supported employees.

The Crediton Station Tea Rooms creation of accessible toilets project was made possible thanks to funding from: The Railway Heritage Trust, Great Western Railway's Customer and Community Improvement Fund and a grant organised by The Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership from the Community Rail Development Fund, a joint initiative of The Department for Transport and The Community Rail Network.

Listed building and planning consent was achieved working with Oxford Architects, a listed building and railway building specialists, and an investment made by TTTP; creating a future for the Crediton Station Tea Rooms. All WC works were carried out by Honeyfield Contractors and overseen by TTTP.

During the refurbishment of the WC, the decision was made to refurbish the kitchen and front of house areas also – creating a hygienic, presentable and exciting space for customers and staff alike.

This included widening the area behind the coffee bar to make the space more accessible for all employees and future employees of TTTP.

This sourcing refurbished equipment from local businesses and friends, including Crediton Coffee Company, Union Road Moto Velo, Howdens on Marsh Barton and more, to keep costs down and quality high.

“The aim of this refurbishment is to demonstrate how an accessible space can be created without being clinical”, said Dominic, the project lead at TTTP, “I think we have achieved that by working creatively with local companies and funders whilst keeping our end goal in mind – an inclusive space, with a focus on accessibility without compromising on quality. We invite the community to come and have a look, ask questions and drink tea, we are very proud of our work here and would love to share it with all.”

The Crediton Station Tea Rooms, located at Crediton Railway Station, is open six days-a-week for rail customers and locals alike, with a function room available for bookings, locally-sourced food produce and fresh coffee.