£11m heritage plan unveiled

Artist's impression of a proposed tramway museum at Orient Building, Fleetwood
Artist's impression of a proposed tramway museum at Orient Building, Fleetwood
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PLANS for an £11m transport heritage project for Fleetwood have been unveiled.

Based at three centres in the town, it would involve the preservation of veteran trams and would aim to be a tourist magnet, based on the town’s tramway heritage.

The man behind the scheme is tram history expert John Woodman who is in the process of launching Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust.

Bidding for lottery cash he plans to have a former tram depot on Copse Road opened as an exhibition centre in time for Tram Sunday next year at a cost of £240,000.

In 2013 there would be a £2.6m development of the Orient Building on Church Street and in 2014 an £8m development on The Esplanade involving a small hotel, restaurant and an exhibition of British Aerospace history.

At a briefing at the 19th century depot on Copse Road, on the site of Fleetwood Car Centre, he said: “Fleetwood is a beautiful town. It well designed and we have lovely vistas. It’s a lovely town to come to but it needs reasons for people to come. We see this as a small start in creating a leisure attraction.”

The purchase of seven trams through sponsorship has been done under the banner of Friends of Fleetwood Trams, but he said the trust would enable bids for grants.

Commercial partners would also be sought.

He added: “We are about getting a new image and direction for the town.”