Image : Copyright Smiemans Projecten
The Trust's outline proposals to create a permanent heritage transport attraction at Wyre Dock were given an airing in the local media this week following the briefing to Fleetwood Town Council recently. It is important to stress that the exploratory exchanges so far with the Owner of Wyre Dock (ABP) have not taken our interest in a specific site by the dock to a formal stage. However the Trust's objectives are likely to form a part of a wider redevelopment scheme that will be reviewed with a property advisory firm being engaged by ABP for this purpose.
In order to differentiate the Wyre Dock display from the 'shedlike' structures which normally house transport collections - the Trust has joined forces with a leading Dutch firm. Smiemans Projecten specialise in large 'glass house' structural designs for botanic displays and garden centres across Europe, including the UK. This is the first time the company have been invited to envisage a tram heritage centre and keen to engage with an emergent project in Fleetwood, which may additionally include a botanic feature.
The waterfront area presents a range of possibilities which would attract visitors and give new life for this historic part of Fleetwood's original fishing industry. Since many of the Trust's collection are stored at Wyre Dock already - and as there is now intention to redevelop the location, seeking a permanent 'home' for the trams and other material is a logical progression. The site might also allow for a short running or demonstration line although this would not link with the light rail service at any point. Other investment is already being planned for Wyre Dock and its adjoining property offering the potential for new employment and a whole new chapter in the Fleetwood's history. The FHLT hope their own long held aspiration will become part of a notable leisure scheme supported by other investment.