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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Two sites identified in Workington for £1 million museum

Two potential sites to house a fleet of historic vehicles have been identified as plans for a £1m transport museum move closer.

Alistair Grey photo
Alistair Grey

The Workington Transport Heritage Trust want to create a visitor centre in the town for its old buses and fire engines.

But its long-term plans have become a priority following news that the group’s lease with Thomas Armstrong for its Lakes Road depot will not be renewed when it expires in November.

The depot houses eight buses, four privately owned and four belonging to the trust. Some vehicles are also housed at Pottery Fields on Clay Flatts.

When the main site has been agreed, the Pottery Fields site will be kept on for storage because a depot housing the entire fleet would prove too expensive.

Trust secretary Alistair Grey said: “We have identified a preferred site, and a back-up site.

“We are getting professional advice from architects, accountants and quantity surveyors.”

Mr Grey declined to reveal the location of the two potential sites in Workington until after a trust meeting tomorrow.

But he said: “The museum would celebrate the heritage of Workington.

“We accept that Workington’s not that pretty a town and it’s not going to attract visitors from the fells and lakes.

“But it has a wonderful industrial story to tell of bus-building and steel-working and coal.

“As well as it being a transport museum we want to be able to tell that story, and encourage people to spend money while they are here,” added Mr Grey.

The trust has not yet got the funds to create the £1m attraction.

It has, however, applied for a Heritage Lottery fund grant which would see the organisation be given £700,000.

The trust must demonstrate that its collection is important, that it has strong links with the community, and that there is support for the plans.

The trust also wants to acquire more vehicles but has put those plans on hold until more premises are found.

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