‘Not enough help for tram museum’

John Woodman of Friends of Fleetwood Trams
John Woodman of Friends of Fleetwood Trams

The businessman behind plans for a tram museum in Fleetwood claims his scheme has not had sufficient support from Fleetwood Town Council.

John Woodman, trustee of the Fleetwood Leisure Heritage Trust, is still hopeful that he can set up the tram heritage museum in the town by next year at the earliest.

He is hoping to site it on land to the rear of the Ferry Cafe in Fleetwood and is currently putting together a £200,000 National Lottery bid and planning application to Wyre Council. With a collection of nine vintage Blackpool trams current scattered across several sites in Fleetwood, Mr Woodman says the scheme will be a huge boost to Fleetwood, providing jobs and a vital boost to tourism.

However, he says he was left disappointed earlier in the year when a bid to Fleetwood Town Council for £3,500, needed to help three trams from Halsalls Toys to a dockland site, was rejected.

Mr Woodman said: “Because of our current financial situation, we have had to rely on our own funds and the goodwill of local businesses. “Companies such as Associated British Ports and Halsalls have been a huge help in allowing us to store trams for free on their land. However, Fleetwood Town Council rejected a request for three and a half thousand pounds, to help me move trams. I find it quite remarkable that a scheme like ours is being ignored.”

But Fleetwood Town Council member, Coun Terry Rogers said: “I was one of the councillors who raised concerns and I personally felt that we couldn’t provide this money. We have strict criteria to set and I did not feel this scheme was at a sufficient stage to hand over so much public money.

“I would love to see a tram museum in Fleetwood and once he has secured Lottery money, we would reconsider.”