Preston Trampower has bought a new headquarters for their Guild Line tram project.Advertisement
The listed building will be part of the project to launch a sustainable tramway in the city.
The company has acquired Station House, in Gamull Lane, a former station master’s house and booking office on the old Preston and Longridge railway line, sections of which the company will use for its proposed Guild Line tramway.
The company hopes to start work on a 200-metre demonstrator line in Deepdale this summer in advance of constructing the Guild Line which would feature 12 stops and run from the M6 at Red Scar into Preston’s University Quarter.
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Lincoln Shields, director of Preston Trampower, said: “We have been looking for a permanent HQ for some time. As we will be bringing parts of the former Preston and Longridge railway back into use as a sustainable tramway, we couldn’t have wished for a more fitting building than Station House.
“It gives us a presence in the very community where we are looking to bring forward the Guild Line and we look forward to the day where this building will once again see passengers going by its windows.
“We already have a contractor clearing the site in front of the building and will be undertaking a significant internal refurbishment as well as external landscaping over the coming weeks. This is great news for the local community as it secures the future of this important building and prevents it slipping into disrepair.”
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The £25m Guild Line will be funded privately through investment from high-net-worth individuals and sustainable investment funds and will be Preston’s first operational tram route in over 80 years.
It aims to link communities along the route with UCLan, the city centre and the industrial and commercial sites to the north east of the city.
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Trams would run every six minutes in both directions along the line’s 5km length. Over 18,000 people live within 500 metres of the line’s 12 proposed stops. Preston Trampower estimates 1.8million passenger journeys would be made annually.
The company has appointed Eric Wright Civil Engineering to construct its demonstrator line between Skeffington Road and West View Leisure Centre. This will progress once the company has concluded discussions with Network Rail over access agreements to the line.
Lincoln added: “It’s been a long, eventful journey since our plans were first revealed just over a decade ago, but we are now making real progress and we’re very confident that work will start on the demonstrator line this year.
“Now more than ever, Preston needs green, sustainable transport and this is a perfect example of an infrastructure project that can help the city get back on its feet after the pandemic.”
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Station House dates from the mid-19th century when Britain’s railways were enjoying a golden era. The two-storey sandstone building features prominent moulded gutter cornices, sash windows and corniced gable chimney stacks.
The building was most recently used as a private dwelling.
Preston Trampower has appointed architects Smithers Purslow to help it plan the refurbishment of the listed building.
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