The proposed reopening of a former train station has taken another step towards becoming reality after the government named it as one of three bids to which it is likely to give millions in funding.

The government named Lea Bridge Station in Walthamstow as one of the three frontrunners in its New Station Fund, and is set to contribute £1.13 million to the £6.5 million total project cost to bring it back into use.

The transport hub closed in 1985 and campaigners have spent decades calling for it to be brought back into use, claiming it could revitalise the area’s economy and speed up journey times for commuters.

In 2011 Network Rail first proposed a new 15-minute service between Brimsdown, Tottenham Hale and Stratford, which will go through Lea Bridge.

Current journey time estimates from Lea Bridge to Stratford and Tottenham Hale are 43 minutes and 34 minutes respectively.

But the new station will cut that down to just 12 minutes, while a council strategy document published last year earmarked the area as a possible site for 2,500 new homes.

Peter Woodrow, chairman of the Chingford Line Users Association (CLUA), said: “Obviously it’s good news. The council already has money set aside so I wonder whether that could be used to provide a better station.”

CLUA treasurer Roger Gillam added: “It’s excellent. This is another piece of the jigsaw that’s really hopeful. It’s all fitting together.”

Network Rail’s Strategic Business Plan, published in January, has already confirmed the station is on its list of programme works planned between 2014 and 2019.

Waltham Forest Council leader Cllr Chris Robbins also reported in January that a meeting with Network Rail to discuss the plans was “extremely positive”.

The authority said that though it has set aside money for the project, it was to guarantee that cash would be earmarked for the scheme, while hoping its bid for the New Station Fund would prove successful.

Further work must be undertaken to confirm the three successful bids but they are expected to get the green light in May.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “These are shovel-ready projects that are good to go and I would expect to see progress on the ground soon after the detailed assessment of these bids has been completed.”