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Land secured for Leicester's new railway museum

Train on Great Central Railway

Land that's currently leased to a local allotment society is to be returned to the city council to keep plans for Leicester’s new heritage railway museum on track.

As part of the deal with the Belgrave Allotment Society, a 0.25 hectare strip of land adjoining the Great Central Railway’s Leicester North station will be handed back to the council so that the land required for the new visitor attraction – called Main Line – can be assembled.

In exchange, the council has agreed a £310,000 package of improvements with the allotment society that includes a new access road, improved road surfaces throughout the site, new fencing and improved security. Former allotment land adjacent to the site will also be cleared to create 11 new plots that will be leased to the society.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: "Acquiring the land for the new railway museum was clearly an essential part of the process, and a key requirement of the Stage 2 application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, so I am pleased that this has now been achieved.

“Main Line will be an exciting new attraction that will house items of both national importance and local interest, helping to enhance Leicester’s reputation as a visitor destination.”

Work on the package of improvements at Red Hill allotments will get under way this autumn.

The Main Line project is a partnership between the Great Central Railway, the National Railway Museum and Leicester City Council.

The partnership learned In May last year that the plans had received earmarked funding* from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) of more than £9.5million, together with development funding of £494,500.

A Stage 2 application, showing fully developed proposals, will be submitted to the HLF in summer 2017 to secure the award.

Subject to funding, Main Line could open to the public in 2019.