The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways has announced that the Boston Lodge redevelopment project is being supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The project is estimated to cost £4.2 million
The project aims to improve the interpretation of the historical significance of the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways and to secure the future of the historic railway works site at Boston Lodge, and ensure that the buildings from the 19th century continue to function into the 21st century.
Visitors will be able to have a guided tour of the workshops, to see how the engineering and maintenance of the railways rolling stock is performed at the oldest railway works in the world.
The upgrade plan will be completed in 10 years time and features 34 separate phases of development. The NLHF has granted funding to complete 14 phases, including the 8 completed phases.
The project has passed the first round Application Stage and the year-long Project Development Phase is planned to start immediately in the new year, 2020.
What did the officials say?
Project Director, and F&WHR General Manager, Paul Lewin comments:
“The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways have an impressive track record of delivering ambitious projects. This Project is intended to extend that record, and builds on recent success working with the NLHF Skills for the Future project.”
“It has long been felt that day-to-day visitors to the FR enjoy their visit without gaining much more than a fleeting impression of the historical importance of the Railway, its connection with the landscape in which it sits, and its importance to the slate industry that has had such a profound effect on the area. This Project is intended to change that.”
“For Boston Lodge Works the Project comes not a moment too soon. The reputation and importance of this workshop is known far and wide in the heritage railway and industrial history sectors and yet, before our eyes, the very fabric of the site and its heritage buildings is crumbling. This programme will see the creation of appropriate facilities for our employees and volunteers which will help to maintain the all-important skill base. The historic buildings will be conserved and each will have a distinct future role.”
“Some new buildings have been included in the plans, with the objective of ensuring that in future these will accommodate the lion’s share of heavy engineering work, thus permitting the conservation and more gentle use of the older buildings. The workshops will thus retain their function and character. Opportunities for volunteer input will grow and greater access will be possible in unique new ways.”
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