Last surviving operational railway roundhouse gets £1.1m for revamp

Locomotives line up inside the Barrow Hill Roundhouse
Locomotives line up inside the Barrow Hill Roundhouse Paul Bigland
Britain's only surviving operational railway roundhouse will be turned into a nationally important Derbyshire museum, thanks to an HLF grant.

Barrow Hill Roundhouse was built in 1870 for the Midland Railway and was used to repair and maintain engines and rolling stock.

It was one of the few roundhouses to survive the transition from steam to diesel engines and operated until the industry went into decline during the 1970s and 80s.

In 1991 it was saved from demolition by local campaigners with just 48 hours to spare and has since become a popular place to visit.

[quote=Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands]“As the last surviving operational roundhouse, Barrow Hill has a unique role in telling the story of the UK’s evocative transport heritage.”[/quote]

Now, HLF has awarded a £1,170,600 grant to repair and refurbish Barrow Hill Roundhouse, and create new facilities including a shop, café and conservation workshop. The roundhouse team will also run learning, training and skills activities to attract more visitors, particularly those from the local area, many of whom don't know about the attraction on their doorstep.

Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “As the last surviving operational roundhouse, Barrow Hill has a unique role in telling the story of the UK’s evocative transport heritage.

“There’s no better way to learn about this history than getting up close to the buildings that survive from that time, so we’re delighted that thanks to National Lottery players we can support this much-needed project to repair the building and enhance visitors’ understanding and enjoyment of the site.”

It is hoped that work will start in June this year and be complete by mid 2019.