The North Eastern Electrical Traction Trust (NEETT for short) have become the latest tram-related organisation to launch an appeal to fund the construction of a new depot in which to house its collection of trams. The Sunderland-based organisation has enjoyed a rise to prominence recently thanks to its acquisition of some withdrawn Blackpool trams, and now plans are being made to ensure that these and other vehicles will be given a more secure future.
Only last week, we reported that the Trust have puchased Centenary car 647 and Twin set 674+684 from Blackpool Transport. These trams remain in storage at Rigby Road, although Blackpool Balloon 721 has already moved to outside storage in the North East after being sold to NEETT. The group also own trams from Budapest and Graz which are housed undercover, but as not enough covered accomodation is available for the Blackpool cars as well, there is a clear need to build a new shed in which to house them. Agreement has already been reached with the North East Aircraft Museum to build on their premises, and design drawings are now in production, but more cash will be needed to make this project happen. Ultimately NEETT have ambitious plans to build an operating tramway on which to run its tramcars, and the new depot would be a major step towards achieving their goals. It is also hoped that it will be possible to offer some form of public access to the building, which would help the Trust to raise its profile even more and allow the trams to be seen and enjoyed. The shed would also provide sanctuary to a Bradford trolleybus which has been entrusted to this organisation and is likely to become their first restoration project.
Obviously NEETT are launching this appeal at a difficult time as other tram preservation groups are also trying to raise money for similar projects elsewhere. Hopefully, the fact that the Trust are so far the only society to own a Twin set and a Centenary car will go in their favour and encourage tram enthusiasts to support them. All donations, however big or small, will be greatly welcomed and NEETT also have an annual membership scheme priced at a very reasonable £15 per annum. For more details, please visit http://www.neett.co.uk/