Work is due to begin on the first phase of a £6 million overhaul of Crewe Rail Station.

The scheme is central to Cheshire East Council’s (CEC) plans to regenerate the town centre and surrounding region.

The council’s All Change for Crewe vision aims to turn the historic station into an iconic ‘21st century gateway’ to the town, and help Crewe to become an ‘economic powerhouse’ by 2030.

Work will include overhauling a new surface-level car park with 251 spaces, new pedestrian access from Weston Road, improved facilities for taxis, and a new drop off bay area.

Platform subways will be refurbished and a new commercial premises built adjacent to the station.

The existing customer entrance on Nantwich Road will not close during the work and the taxi rank will operate as normal.

Phase-one work was made possible by a £6.1 million Government grant.

CEC has appointed developer Mansell to start work before Christmas, with completion due by spring 2014.

CEC’s Clr Jamie Macrae, said: “This work is a keystone of long-term regeneration to enhance the attractiveness of Crewe as a place to live, work and do business.

“A revitalised rail hub is critical to boosting the town’s economy and its attractiveness to businesses and visitors.”

MD of Mornflake Oats, John Lea, added: “This long-overdue improvement to the major gateway into the town of Crewe is a very exciting development, and will not only be of benefit to us all but will help to showcase the very best that Cheshire has to offer.”