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Big Heritage take over Wirral Transport Museum

ByReport2

Nov 21, 2023

THE transfer of Wirral Transport Museum from Wirral Council to a local Community Interest Company (CIC) has now been completed.

Big Heritage CIC has now officially taken over the running of the Taylor Street attraction on a 28-year lease from the council.

The museum features a wide arrange of historic trams, buses and cars as well as maintaining 1km of tramway that runs to the Woodside Ferry Terminal. The tracks today are all that is left of what used to transport people across Birkenhead and Oxton when trams were one of the main forms of transport in Wirral.

Founded in 2011, Chester-based Big Heritage operates, manages and protects a number of historic locations and museums which it has developed to become tourist attractions.

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These include Western Approaches in Liverpool and the Deva Roman Discovery Centre and Sick To Death in Chester.

Dean Paton, Founder and Managing Director of Big Heritage CIC, said: “Big Heritage can now begin work on transforming the existing museum into a vibrant and engaging space for visitors. Building renovations will develop spaces where visitors can explore Birkenhead’s rich transport history.
“Sitting alongside Big Heritage’s other attractions – Western Approaches and Grasshopper – the re-imagined Transport Museum will remain part of a vibrant cultural offering across Birkenhead that also includes Wirral Council’s Williamson Art Gallery and Museum and The Priory.”

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As a CIC, Big Heritage is a not-for-profit company, meaning any surplus income generated is re-invested into the Transport Museum or its other Birkenhead attractions.

Cllr Helen Cameron, Chair of the Tourism, Communities, Culture and Leisure Committee, said: “There is real affection and enthusiasm for the Transport Museum, not least from the volunteers who have operated it in recent times.

“When we agreed the transfer earlier this year, it was on the proviso that their passion and hard work would be nurtured by the new operators and used as the base from which to build up the museum into an even more popular attraction in the coming years.

“I look forward to seeing Big Heritage’s big plans to develop the museum coming to fruition.”

The Big Heritage projects at Woodside are part of a wider programme to reconnect Woodside to Hamilton Square and the rest of Birkenhead.
Backed by £19.6m of funding through the government’s Levelling Up Fund, other aspects of the scheme include major infrastructure improvements with the removal of the gyratory and the relocation of the bus interchange area to create a new public space and replacing the ferry landing stage.

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