More good news for the Heaton Park Tramway’s project to construct a second tram depot close to the line’s present Lakeside terminus has come from the Fylde Tramway Society, who have recently agreed to donate £1000 to the fund. Although the FTS usually only makes donations to projects which solely benefit Blackpool trams, the number of ex-Blackpool cars owned by the Manchester Transport Museum Society which will be housed in the new depot led to the donation being approved. Heaton Park being the nearest heritage tramway to Blackpool was also a key deciding factor.
The MTMS now own a very credible six Blackpool cars, of which only Brush Railcoach 623 is serviceable at present. Vanguard 7 is currently boarded up and stored outside at Heaton Park, whilst Ex-Towing car 680 remains at Blackpool and Balloons 702 and 708 are both at Bury alongside Railgrinder 752. Most, if not all of these trams should move into the Lakeside Depot later in the year, making this financial support from the FTS a very valuable contribution towards securing the long-term future of all of these vehicles.
As reported previously, permission has now been granted for building work to commence and work is expected to get underway later this month. The majority of the required funding is now in place, however further donations are still welcomed, as they will also assist with moving various trams to the park once the depot is completed.