THE team behind the ambitious Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust project will be bringing supporters up to speed with the latest developments at a fundraising evening next week.
The trust will be holding a charity curry night at the Ali Raj restaurant at 7 pm on Monday (Nov, 11).
Tickets are £12 to be paid on the door, and there will be an auction and raffle.
Trust secretary Richard Roper said: “The aim of the evening will be to raise funds for the project and bring everyone up to date with the latest progress in the project.
“Our main aim is, of course, to bring an important piece of Llanelli’s historical, architectural and constructional heritage back into sustainable use. We have already examined a wide variety of community uses for the shed buildings and site.
“Progress on the project may appear to be slow, but a huge amount of work has gone into the scheme, working with charitable funders, local authorities and other interested parties with the focus very much in line with ensuring the buildings and site have a sustainable future.
“Community involvement in the project is gathering steam and the Trust has been awarded a grant of £8,700 towards the cost of a Schools Resource project.
“Two of our working group members, Graham Davies and Ellen Davies, will be working with others and local schools to develop this part of the project further.”
The objective is to provide a teaching resource to 30 local primary schools over a five-year period.
The working group will be seeking heritage material from various sources and welcomes input from anyone who may have relevant photos/records/eyewitness accounts, etc, from the Goods Shed.
Goods Shed trustee Rev Eldon Phillips will be visiting local secondary schools with the objective of increasing awareness of local industrial heritage.
Mr Roper added: “Our links with Network Rail, who currently own the site, have developed dramatically in recent months and we were delighted to welcome Sir Peter Hendy, the chairman of Network Rail to the site recently.
“Sir Peter met with the Llanelli Goods Shed Trust to discuss the potential transfer of the historic goods shed to the group for community use.”
The grade two listed facility, situated alongside the west Wales mainline to the east of Llanelli station, has been out of operation since 1966. The construction of the goods shed dates back to the 1870s when it was built to meet the increase in demand of the tinplate industries in the area.
Llanelli is believed to be unique in south Wales in retaining its goods shed – probably due to its size, location, and facilities.
Chaired by Llanelli Parliamentary Candidate Nia Griffith, the Goods Shed Trust was set up in 2011 with the objective of restoring the shed for the benefit of the local community.
The Goods Shed Trust’s future plans for the shed include a community arts centre, flexible performance space, and a training and skills hub.
Network Rail is also working with the trust to lease the decommissioned Llanelli west signal box, also grade two listed, as a community space to showcase their plans for the shed.
Sir Peter Hendy CBE said: “I’m always keen to explore and support projects like this which see communities play an active role in preserving these iconic structures, for future generations to be able to enjoy and learn more about the history of their local railways.”
If you think you can help the project, contact Goods Shed Trust secretary Richard Roper on firstname.lastname@example.org