The Heritage Tram Depot is important to Blackpool, not just because our vintage tram operation and restoration takes place here, but because it is an important piece of national transport history in its own right. This 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.
In 2012, Blackpool's famous tramway was upgraded to accommodate modern light-rail trams. Since then, a Heritage Team, largely led by a team of over 60 volunteers have continued to operate a fleet of around 20 vintage trams for residents and visitors alike to enjoy year round.
There are plans in the near future to regenerate Rigby Road bus depot to repurpose it for modern bus technology. This creates a pressing need to move some of the heritage engineering facilities very quickly into one facility and in the medium term, all of the other heritage engineering facilities must follow. We cannot do anything meaningful towards these looming deadlines until there is at least a roof that does not let in torrents of water and we have regenerated the building to give it better structural integrity and eventually a new set of doors to keep the worst ravages of the winter weather out!
Right now, putting a new roof on is key to halting the progressive deterioration of the structure and providing us with a starting point for the gradual restoration of the building. This is our single biggest expense in a series of works that will enable us to establish an all-new visitor attraction for Blackpool within a building that has provided a home for the nation's historic tram fleet for 86 years.
We have to do it now because the tram-shed roof isn’t going to wait much longer! If we are to continue to supply the town with one of its most high profile heritage attractions, which includes the iconic and high profile illuminated feature trams for the annual Illuminations displays, we have to act fast or we will gradually lose our ability to maintain and operate the fleet, which would be unthinkable.
Our Big Ask
We are looking for a million pounds to replace this roof! Therefore, we’re seeking a million people around the world who will all donate a pound.
Can you help us to raise a million and raise a new roof! If you haven’t a pound to spare, please share this message with your friends, maybe they can help.
What if we don't reach our target?
Well, come rain or shine we must find a way to replace our degrading roof. However, £10,000 would allow us to replace all of the guttering and provide a short term solution to the ongoing damage being caused by inadequate and damaged guttering. Thereafter, every £100,000 we manage to raise will contribute to a portion of the roof itself. It 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 degradation of the building.
Should we fail to reach our target, donations will be spent in contribution to repairing the roof or other much needed improvements to secure the future of the building and our Heritage Tram operation.
The bottom line however is that we just do not have time to waste! We need to act now! Any help whether that's monetary or by simply sharing the word is greatly appreciated.