Dock-site identified for tram attractions

Heritage enthusiasts are moving forward with proposals for a tram-based attraction on Fleetwood docks.

Thursday, 9th June 2016, 10:00 am
Updated Friday, 10th June 2016, 11:35 am
An artists impression of the museum plans

Members of the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust presented the project in its outline form to Fleetwood Town Council when it met last week.

The trust, which has been working on the scheme for a number of years, has identified land at Wyre Dock as the possible site for the venture.

It already has links with the land owners, Associated British Ports (ABP), and currently stores a number of its heritage trams at the dock through the goodwill of ABP.

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Now it hopes the likelihood of redevelopment to Wyre Dock as existing fish trading businesses relocate to a new purpose-built park, will pave the way for an area of dockside land to become availabe for its project.

Further talks are due to take place between ABP and the Trust’s development advisors later this year.

The outline proposal includes displaying the Trust’s trams, vehicles and artefacts from other Fylde-based groups, a skills training workshop and a commercial scheme which might also extend to a tropical, botanic display opening all-year round.

FHLT trustee Frank Heald, said: “These efforts are just one part of a much larger initiative to secure the town’s long term future.

“The redevelopment of Wyre Dock is a significant opportunity in which the Trust’s vision can be the catalyst for other leisure investment.

“We are examining options to bring this about in partnership with private sector interests.”

Dutch structural design company, Smiemans, which specialises in large glass houses is working with FHLT on potential designs.

Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust is a registered charity made up of enthusiasts who work to conserve trams and artefacts from the Blackpool to Fleetwood tramway.

Last year members of the group repainted a heritage tram to depict past glories of Blackpool Football Club including the club’s famous 1953 FA Cup win and Ian Holloway’s Premier League Team.

The names of supporters who donated to the project were also inscribed on the bodywork of the vehicle which was put on display on South Promenade.

A £12,500 feasability study, funded by a grant from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund, is also looking into the possibility of creating a tram museum at Blackpool Transport’s Rigby Road depot which is home to its heritage fleet, which operates regular services during the summer and Illuminations.