Plans for a multi-million expansion of engineering facilities and important refurbishment works to a Grade II listed workshop in Bury have been given a unanimous thumbs up by planning chiefs on Tuesday 22nd February. The Buckley Wells Locomotive Depot in Bury is an important part of the East Lancashire Railway (ELR) overall operations.

The award winning heritage railway successfully applied to Bury Council to carry out a restoration of the grade II-listed locomotive works which was built in 1857 and is the oldest engineering workshop in the world still in operation. The plans allow the construction of a new locomotive running shed, the incorporation of associated new workshops and training facilities and the construction of a standalone carriage shed.

Speaking at the committee meeting and with further comments, ELR Chairman Mike Kelly, said: “One of the reasons we’re so passionate about heritage is to preserve and protect for today, tomorrow and into the future.

“We are fortunate here in Bury to have such an iconic artefact from almost the birth of the industrial revolution and railways which was at its zenith.

“50 years ago, Bury Council gave the ELR a home at Castlecroft and throughout those years many thousands of volunteers have and continue to give their time freely to work every day in preserving and protecting this rich industrial transport heritage as a ‘living history’.

“I have every confidence in the ELR’s determination to be the best heritage railway in the UK and the securing planning permission is fantastic news and sends a very strong message of support and confidence in the ELR to our volunteers and staff, knowing they have the future which they have worked so hard for, especially, through the dark days of Covid. This is just the start of a long journey which will involve securing the necessary funds for construction and refurbishment of our Buckley Wells depot”.


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