Plans unveiled for a new tourist attraction to celebrate Blackpool's historic trams

Plans for a brand new tourist attraction in Blackpool have been unveiled.

The proposals would see the existing historical tram depot in Rigby Road repaired and redeveloped, to include a brand new exhibition hall, viewing platform and cafe.

Work on the council-owned site will begin shortly thanks to a substantial investment of £800,000, with further stages of the project set to be completed over the next four years.

Tramtown actually opened to the public in 2022, allowing visitors to look around the depot and see some of the 55 different tram models on show.

But this announcement will see the attraction completely redesigned, in what is being promised as a "globally unique" offering.

Tramtown opened to the public in 2022 allowing visitors the chance to get an up close and personal look at Blackpool's heritage trams Credit: ITV News

Bryan Lindop, Head of Heritage at Blackpool Transport, said "It's almost a day I thought I'd never live to see.

"We've been at this for a very long time, so to actually get some funds to start the restoration work is more important than you can ever possibly know."

Cllr Paul Galley, Chair of Blackpool Transport, added "This is going to be a globally unique attraction that will draw people in not just from around the UK, but around the world to come here.

"And what that will do is help regenerate Blackpool. It gives people another reason to come, and that will be huge, especially as the ward that it's in is one of the poorest wards in Blackpool."

Artists impression of what the new Tramtown project will look like Credit: John Bridge Studios

The first phase of work will be to move the existing engineering workshops all under one roof, with new layouts designed to increase output and ensure Blackpool's Heritage Trams run for years to come.

Future phases will see roof repairs carried out, a new glass frontage, and an exhibition space with walkways, conference facilities and a cafe.

The initial funding has come from Blackpool Council support of the ZEBRA Blackpool Transport scheme as well as gate receipts from Tramtown visitors and public donations.

The tram 710, which knocked down villain Alan Bradley on ITV's Coronation Street in 1989, is among the gems to go on show at Tramtown Credit: ITV News

One of the star attractions is set to be the infamous tram 710, which famously knocked down villain Alan Bradley on ITV's Coronation Street in 1989.

Since being re-liveried, it had been gathering dust in Fleetwood docks until the team at Blackpool Transport secured its return to the Blackpool depot.

"It's one of those trams that has that bit of history and it's one that members of the public are often asking about when they come on our tours of Tramtown.

"They want to know which is the Alan Bradley tram and unfortunately we have to say, well, sadly it's not here, but fortunately we've been able to secure it for the Tramtown exhibition and arrived back here a couple of weeks ago and now it's available for viewing.

Planning permission has now been submitted and work is underway to secure extra funding for the next phases of the plans.

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