Rigby Road Tram Depot – now home to the heritage fleet of trams in Blackpool – has been known to be in a poor state of repair for some time and now to try and remedy this Blackpool Transport have launched a Crowdfunder to raise £1 million to fully retore the historic building to help keep the trams safe and secure for generations to come.
As we reported earlier this year there are plans to modernise the bus side of the depot at Rigby Road in the coming years and this will necessitate some of the heritage engineering facilities currently used by the trams to be moved into one facility (with the remainder also have to follow in the future as well). However, that’s when things start to get a bit more complicated as the state of the main depot building (the roof in particular) means it isn’t possible to move this equipment as currently the worst of the winter (and any when else for that matter!) weather easily finds its way into the building.
The long term plans for the building – which it is still hoped could eventually became a museum/heritage attraction – would see the structural integrity of the building secured and a new set of doors installed but the initial priority is to sort the leaking roof out. And for that to be fully restored will cost £1 million which is where the Crowdfunder (and the public!) comes in.
£1 million sounds a lot (because it is!) but if 1 million people around the world each donated £1 the target would be met! But there can be no denying that it is a huge target so Blackpool Transport have given details of some staging points which can be reached on the way to the target to help start the repairs as soon as possible:
- £10,000 would allow the replacement of the guttering and provide a short-term solution to the ongoing damage being caused by inadequate and damaged guttering
- Then every £100,000 raised will contribute to a portion of the roof. The roof is made up of 5 apexes and replacing even half of each one of these at a time will slowly go some way to preventing further deterioration of the building.
If the target isn’t reached any funds raised will contribute to repairs on the roof or other much needed improvements to the structure to help secure the future of the building.
The Crowdfunder can be contributed to at the following link: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/vital-funds-to-continue-running-heritage-trams. And if you donate certain amounts you have a chance to enter prize draws as well as join unique heritage experiences. These rewards include:
- £10 – prize draw to win an Illuminations Tour ticket
- £20 – An exclusive Heritage Tram pin badge (only 50 available)
- £50 – Heritage Tram Tour Family Experience (only 50 available)
- £50 – Thank You Certificate
- £150 – First to ride a Heritage Tram to Blackpool North (only 90 available)
- £250 – “Be Part of the Building” – your name inscribed on a special decorative structure in the Heritage visitor centre when it opens
- £500 – Exclusive Behind the Scenes Tour (only 20 available)
- £1,000 – Exclusive Hire of a Vintage Tram (only 5 available)
- £3,000 – Vintage Tram Driving Experience (only 3 available)
Repairing roofs and sorting out the depot building – which is the last working first-generation tram depot in the UK and one of only three working historic tram depots in the world built for double-deck trams – may not be as exciting as donating towards the restoration of another tram but it is no less vital, if not more so, and will help to ensure the future of heritage trams in Blackpool for many years to come.