The management of the Wirral Transport Museum, which is owned by Wirral Council and is based on Taylor Street in Birkenhead, is being transferred to Big Heritage, a not-for-profit Community Interest Company. It currently costs the council around £85,000 a year but the transfer to will mean that Big Heritage will take over the costs of running the museum. Big Heritage already run visitor attractions in nearby Chester and Liverpool.
The Council has signed a 25-year lease with Big Heritage, whose intention is to create a “compelling visitor attraction” and bring in more than 40,000 visitors a year. Currently the museum only welcomes around 6,000 visitors a year. The Wirral Transport Museum was opened by the local council in 1995 and features nine historic trams, as well as buses, cars, and motorbikes. A preserved section of tram runs for 1km to the Woodside Ferry Terminal. Trams first ran in Birkenhead in 1860, making the network the first street tramway in Europe.
Rob Jones, Secretary of the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society Limited (MTPS), who have run the site since 2014 with 50 volunteers, said: “Our main concern has been knowing what are we charging for people to come in, who are asking us questions that we really don’t know the answer to. That worries our members.
“I am all for the Big Heritage asset transfer. I’m 68 and I’m one of the younger people in the group.” The volunteers will still be involved in the running of the museum. For further details of the museum and the tramway trust follow this link: http://www.mtps.co.uk/Transportmuseum.html