It has been a little while since we updated you on our depot refurbishment project due to take place later this year. We’re delighted to say that donations from Tramway Museum Society members and the public have now reached just over £20,000.

We are really pleased with the donations we have received so far, but don’t forget if you would like to support our refurbishment project, then you can do so by donating through our website, or you can send donations directly to our Financial Controller at the Museum (please make cheques payable to The Tramway Museum Society)

Whilst we carry on fundraising for the project, there is plenty of activity taking place behind the scenes in preparation for our start date of the 6th November.

Working to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, which guide the structure and management of the project, we have appointed principle designers, David Lewis Associates to help us. One of the primary tasks of the principle designer in the last couple of months, has been to draw up a comprehensive schedule of work, which is essentially a very long list of everything that requires doing as part of the project. Whilst renewing the roof, installing new doors, and installing partition walls may seem obvious, there are a myriad of other details to be taken into account, such as moving of lighting, power and fire system cabling, the traction supply switches, etc.

Whilst the schedule of works was being prepared, we also submitted a request for planning permission for the work to take place. You might wonder why we needed to do this. The depot buildings, in a very round about way, are actually connected to the Grade 2 listed Assembly Rooms façade that we have here at the Museum, and anything that might affect them, requires planning approval. Thankfully no problems with our application and Amber Valley Borough Council, have given us the green light to go ahead with the refurbishment.

The CDM regulations also require us to appoint a Principle Contractor. They will be responsible for managing the overall project and take on responsibility for bringing the project in on time and budget, as well as maintaining the health, safety and welfare of everyone of working on site to deliver the work.

In the last week we have been received bids back for companies who are interested in the Principle Contractor job, and our task in the next couple of weeks is to go through all the bids, evaluate them and then appoint our chosen Principle Contractor. Once we have done this, it’s time to get down to the real detail of working out the project plan

One of the major tasks that will form part of the project planning, will be the sequence and detail of the removal and replacement of the roof, in order to keep displacement of the tramcar collection to a minimum. The work will ideally be planned so that the roof will be closed and watertight at the end of each day. All this is preferable to the construction of a temporary depot which is the other option, but detailed discussions with the Principle Contractor will determine just how we do this part of the project.

The main area where we don’t yet have a finalised design is for the new doors, which being insulated will be much thicker than the current ones and therefore there isn’t enough clearance to have concertina ones like we have now, nor can we use the type that the Workshop currently utilises.

We’ve been considering various options, and have even gone back to the Museum’s Archive to seek inspiration. The Archive holds a wealth of information and whilst looking at the photographic collections, we spotted some depot doors that look like they actually pivot on a central point. We have fed this information to our door designers, who are looking at this as an option.

Our Curatorial team are also working on the plan for removing all the current wall exhibits in the depot, and working out which ones will go back, and what new ones we might add to the displays.

The next couple of months are going to be busy as we carry on with all our planning, but we’re looking forward to that 6th November start date, when the project gets going in earnest.

We’ll keep you up to date as work progresses, and don’t forget if you’d like to make a donation we would welcome your support.

Crich Tramway Village is a brand name for the National Tramway Museum (Accredited with Arts Council England), solely owned and operated by The Tramway Museum Society, incorporated in England with liability by guarantee (no. 744229). Registered charity number 313615. Our ICO number is Z6700136.

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