Blackpool’s Tramtown museum reaches £30k of restoration target

Volunteers will still need to raise a further £70,000 if they are to complete the planned work

Volunteers at Blackpool’s Tramtown Museum have now raised almost £30,000 towards restoring the site which also recently welcomed its 1,500th visitor.

As it approaches its first year anniversary the museum on Rigby Road is now running tours three days a week, with ambitions to open up to seven days a week by next year. Flynn Dillingham, seven, and his sister Isabella, four, along with cousins Oscar Palfreyma, six, and friends Harry Bindon, two, and Jasper Aspden, two, were each presented with certificates and a Tramtown goody bag as the visitor milestone was reached.

Flynn’s mum Hayley said: “We had such a great time and my son loved it so much he now wants to be a tram driver and a volunteer at Tramtown. We can’t believe something so special is on our doorstep, Tramtown is a very special and unique experience, my whole family loved it.”

Tramtown is home to Blackpool’s heritage trams including the world famous illuminated trams, and is one of only three remaining working double decker tram depots in the world with the others being in Hong Kong and Alexandria. Chair of the board of Blackpool Transport Coun Paul Galley said: “We were delighted Flynn and his wonderful family had a great time.

“We have been blown away by the interest in Tramtown and with visitors coming from as far away as Hong Kong and Los Angeles we are now working towards our 10,000th visitor. Tramtown has an amazing future ahead of it and as we grow so will Blackpool.”

The museum, which is run purely by volunteers, has a fundraising target of £100,000 but ultimately needs around £1.6m to restore the depot. Architects were appointed earlier this year to draw up detailed surveys of the site and digitally map its historic structures, in order to support bids for larger pots of funding.

More immediate plans include installing audio at some of the static tram exhibits at the site, which houses 70 vintage trams of which 32 are operational with the rest in various states of repair. Coun Galley added: “Everything is working towards having the evidence to show why investment is needed in the building.

“It already physically looks better and is shaping up towards what we want it to be.”

By

Shelagh ParkinsonLocal democracy reporter
  • 05:05, 16 AUG 2022