Leighton Buzzard Railway Museum Gateway Project
To replace the existing Page’s Park station building with a ‘Gateway’ to the accredited Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway Museum. The new building will be fit for the 21st century and provide learning and other facilities for our visitors, volunteers and the Railway’s local community.
18 months from funds being secured.
Charity information: Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway Society
The current station building is long past its ‘use by’ date and is longer fit for purpose. It does not provide all that is needed to inform our visitors about the railway, nor to educate and train our volunteers. Neither does it provide suitable community facilities for residents in the fast expanding local community.
The ‘Gateway’ will have facilities for:
Audio-visual lectures to volunteers, visitors, schools, colleges, and the local community;
On-line access to extensive document and picture archives;
Schools' sessions supporting National and local curricula with local history; the sociological effect of the sand industry on the town’s growth during the 19th to 21st centuries; the economic benefits of sand; including its means of transport; and the importance of narrow gauge railways in World War I.
Continued safe operation of the accredited narrow gauge railway museum.
Activities» By educating and enthusing our volunteers, now and in the future, to achieve this objective.
What success will look like
Success will be shown by gaining continuous approval of HMRI for our Safety Case and thus for our continued operation.
To stimulate and enhance our visitors' understanding and appreciation of the railway museum.
Activities» By providing audio-visual lectures to volunteers, visitors, schools, colleges, and the local community.
» By providing on-line access to extensive document and picture archives.
» Support school curricula with local history; the socio-effect of the sand industry on the town and importance of narrow gauge railways in World War I.
What success will look like
Success will be measured by monitoring increased access by our visitors, volunteers, researchers and schools and their use of the new facilities.
The project will ensure the continued preservation of the railway’s 90-year old heritage within Leighton Buzzard. It will also bring increasing numbers of volunteers to support and operate the accredited railway museum. It will provide a centre for greater detailed study and research using our archive resources.
Success will be demonstrated by greater recognition from educational and museum authorities of our achievements and our collections.
Funding delays – funding will be sought from multiple sources, e.g. HLF, The Big Give, etc.
Insufficient Learning Delivery Team volunteers, in numbers or experience – will result in professionals being used.
Possible builder’s bankruptcy – will be managed by the use of a design and build contractor, by mutually agreed payment timings, and if need be by further fund raising.
Donors will be kept up-to-date using all forms of media, including the Railway’s website, magazine and newsletter, together with local and national media as appropriate.
Budget - Project Cost: £627,850Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £511,010 Museum Gateway building New building work £116,840 Other costs Other works, fees, equipment, fiiting out
Current Funding / Pledges
Source Amount Public donations to date £112,700 Guaranteed
Leighton Buzzard is a centre for sand extraction and related industries that saw dramatic growth of the industry during WW1. Transport of the sand was by road during WW1 but then moved to narrow gauge railway in 1919.
Use of the railway for sand movement ended in 1982, but by then there was weekend running of passenger trains by the Society.
The entire Railway is now an accredited museum and can properly claim that it has, like the Windmill Theatre, 'never closed'.
The local community will benefit from having new meeting facilities and Leighton Buzzard will benefit from increased visitor numbers.
Our visitors, volunteers and members will enjoy improved facilities explaining the history and significance of the Railway; and the new building with its purpose-made display areas which will include audio-visual presentations, two and three dimensional displays, and actual artefacts from the working days of the museum.
For the last 44 years the Society's focus has been on running and developing the Railway, for which the Museum Gateway Project is of paramount importance in ensuring its continuity in the 21st century.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Geoff, a volunteer, is the leader of the three-man team responsible for the design, planning, construction and fitting out of the Museum Gateway.
Terry, a volunteer, is the leader of the team responsible for all the learning, education and training aspects to be part of the Project.
Nick, a volunteer, is the leader of the team raising funds for the Museum Gateway Project.
The Chairman's role is to lead and constantly enthuse the volunteer membership to achieve the Society's aims and objectives.