Fleetwood's Moving Past
New Zealand approach to heritage tram depot styling - the end wall size vinyl is quite amazing. Replica tram tickets adorn the side panelling.
The Trustees will be taking forward outline proposals with Associated British Ports and the operator of Fleetwood Freeport following meetings with management in 2016. The Trust's tram assets will form part of an emergent scheme embracing Wyre Dock to include the Jacinta deep sea trawler now relocated within the Dock during October.
The overall scheme is likely to encompass other leisure and hospitality investment now being drawn together through the Trust's initiatives which are ongoing. Fleetwood Town Council have participated in initial exchanges together with Wyre Council to consider support for what may well become a landmark project for the Fylde coast and specifically Fleetwood.
Trustees have been examining heritage tram attractions (outside of museums) which aid in regeneration of urban areas needing stimulus and new investment led by the private sector. Hobart, Auckland, Lisbon, San Francisco, Oporto, Christchurch and especially Beamish being eminent examples of how old trams in regular operation can create a new image through the Fleetwood project. Lessons have been learned. Following on the Amion Consultants report on a fylde coast heritage transport strategy, Fleetwood's Wyre Dock scheme is one of several sites now designated to host new Fylde coast visitor attractions operating year round with themed transport displays (always subject of course to investor funding and pro-active involvement of the site owner).
Auckland Docks tram service - a starter for regenerating a former industrial waterfront district of the city. Images : FHLT
The vital fishing industry for which Fleetwood is forever associated will be one of several features in the Wyre Dock project, along with an ambitious botanic attraction and of course trams in the Trust's collection, providing a circulatory internal transport mode through the site. The project will be driven by the private sector throughout to an ambitious timetable. Details of the scheme will be placed in the public domain during 2017 once formal agreements with lead partners are in place and sanctioned by Associated British Ports, Owners of Wyre Dock.
A new website will host the scheme from February 2017: the Trust's role and involvement continuing to be updated on www.tramtalk.co.uk.