The Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust are celebrating after Wyre Borough Council gave the go-ahead for the former Copse Road tram depot to be converted from its current use as a car sales and storage area to a Tram Museum and Workshop. This now means that the FHLT will be able to proceed with submitting a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to help make their dreams a reality.
Wyre Borough Council approved the change of use for the former Tramroad Depot on 16th July just days after the FHLT had been involved in a successful Fleetwood Tram Sunday event which saw two of Blackpool Transport’s Balloon trams visiting. The Depot was originally built in 1897 for the opening of the Blackpool and Fleetwood Tramroad Company’s line which opened the following year and it remains the only standing tram depot from the late Victorian era on the Fylde Coast. The FHLT are also the only heritage tram group in the UK to have the lease on an original electric tramcar depot.
The new Museum will eventually house six of the Trust’s ten tramcars and the Workshop area will allow renovation on two trams at a time. It is planned that the Workshop will be used as a skills training and transfer unit in cooperation with the National Offenders
Management Service (NOMS) and HM Prison Kirkham.
The FHLT have already launched an appeal to raise funds towards installing four traditional tram depot doors for the front of the structure this winter with each set costing £8000. Recently BAM Nuttall donated some lengths of tram rail which will be used in the
Workshop area and other Fylde companies are providing material assistance to the Trust.
Speaking of the decision to grant planning permission, John Woodman, Chair of the Trust, said: “This is really tremendous news of critical importance to our plans for creating a permanent year round transport museum in Fleetwood. The Planning Permission will allow the Trust to proceed with submission to Heritage Lottery Fund in the northwest – for a grant towards the costs of returning this historic structure more or less to its original purpose.”