Following talks with Blackpool Council and detailed discussions with the Blackpool Civic Trust and key Blackpool Councillors, the LTT has started negotiations on the terms of lease for the former tram sidings at Thornton Gate in Cleveleys.
The plan would involve the creation of a Transport Heritage centre on the site, which is currently being used as a construction compound for the tramway upgrade. However, the site will be vacated by Easter 2012 and the LTT has already started costing the options for erecting buildings on the site to store its vintage tram collection. Planning meetings are also advancing with a view to submitting a planning application early in 2012.
It is hoped that the plans which we feel will be "credible, achievable and deliverable" will be sufficient to secure continued accommodation of our vintage trams at the Council-owned tram depot at Rigby Road, until the site is ready to receive vehicles. The LTT is particularly pleased with the response from Blackpool Councillors and MPs across the political spectrum, and we will be keeping members fully informed of developments
We have drafted plans for a Transport Museum on the Thornton Gate site before - back in 2001, but these were rejected at the time because of possible use of the site for either a tram depot or turning circle as part of the tramway upgrade. Thankfully, Blackpool Council now accept that the site is redundant and offers a permanent home to the LTT tramway collection. We expect to have an offer of lease from Blackpool Council within the next two weeks.