Historic railway buildings on ‘at risk’ register

Carnforth Conservation Area in Lancashire has been added to the Heritage at Risk Register this year and it contains a remarkably intact collection of railway buildings, including these 1930s concrete coal and ash plants, built by Italian prisoners of war.
Carnforth Conservation Area in Lancashire has been added to the Heritage at Risk Register this year and it contains a remarkably intact collection of railway buildings, including these 1930s concrete coal and ash plants, built by Italian prisoners of war.

Carnforth’s conservation area including Steam Town has been added to Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.

Carnforth is one of the most significant steam railway settlements in the UK and it has retained a large portion of its historic railway buildings and structures.

The remarkably intact collection of railway buildings includes a steam-age engine shed, which was the last in the UK to close to steam locomotives in 1968, and a 1930s concrete ash plant as well as a coaling plant built by local Italian Prisoners of War to modernise the depot. The huge 1930s structures, which are unique in Britain and listed at Grade II*, are in need of serious attention to address their current condition.

Carnforth and Millhead councillor Peter Yates, said: “I’m very grateful to the city council officers who have realised what a wonderful asset we’ve got here in Carnforth. It’s a stepping stone in the right direction.”

Coun Janice Hanson, cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration and planning, said: “The‘at risk’ designation does provide an opportunity for the city council, Historic England and other partners to work together and access funding.

“In the coming months, the city council will be making progress by working with the local community, West Coast Railways and heritage bodies to establish a way forward.”

The Lancaster district has 38 conservation areas and 1,300 listed buildings.