CIVIC chiefs are going to have a second go at bringing a former Victorian railway goods shed back to life as a business start-up centre.

The former railway building is one of the last remnants of the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton line that closed in the 1960s.

A previous proposal to set up a business centre for start-ups there was dropped when Winchester University pulled out of the scheme.

Cllr Kelsie Learney, portfolio holder for housing and asset management, told Cabinet that housing had been considered "but increased employment is important and a more appropriate use for this site."

She said it would help counter the pressure on commercial sites to be converted into residential because of the higher profits to be made. The council intend to retain the freehold of the building.

It was part of the sidings near the Winchester Chesil Station that was part of the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton through Winchester in Victorian times. When the line closed in the 1960s much of the land was bought by the city council. The Chesil multi-storey car park now stands on the station site.

Cllr Jackie Porter said: "It is excellent to bring it back into practical use. It looks a bit sad now."

The building is currently used as a store for the green waste recycling scheme and the commercial glass recycling bins.

Cllr Paula Ferguson, portfolio holder for local economy, said: "There is little employment land in the city; Bar End and Winnall are the two main areas. So I'm delighted it is going to be developed as employment space. Supporting small businesses is a priority for us. It is a sustainable location close to the city centre and it has fantastic connectivity being close to the M3."

Cllr Learney said the good shed site may become a new home for the local boxing club which is currently based further up Barfield Close. "The club is looking to find a new home and we hope to do this within this new development but there is still work to do before we get there."

Cabinet agreed to retain the building and redevelop the site for small businesses.

A budget of £20,000 was approved to commission architectural drawings, and a detailed development appraisal as a precursor to a planning application.