The horse tram stables at Tramway Terrace have been bought by the
Department of Infrastructure from Douglas Borough Council (DBC)
This supports the Department’s plans for the regeneration of Douglas Promenade and the future operation of the horse trams.
A key factor in buying the buildings is to allow the Summerland site to remain clear and a more attractive proposition for investors. A planning application to construct temporary horse tram facilities on the site was approved last year. However, after reviewing a number of options the Department considered that buying the existing building will prove more cost effective, as well as helping to retain part of the Island’s heritage infrastructure.
Member for Public Transport Jason Moorhouse MHK said:
‘The stables will continue to be used for its intended purpose, while investment will also be made to secure the fabric of the property and improve welfare facilities.
‘With the promenade redevelopment project set to begin later this year and the recent application to rebuild Strathallan depot, this is an exciting time for the horse trams, and the wider heritage transport network more generally, with commitments being made to ensure they continue to attract tourists for many years to come.’
Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK added:
‘With the approval of the Promenade reconstruction scheme and the exciting plans for Lord Street we are making very real improvements to what is, in effect, the Island’s shop window.
‘Now that we are able to release the part of the site that was zoned for the temporary facility, I want to make real progress to improve the northern end of the Promenade. The Summerland site remains on the market and a number of potential bids are being evaluated. I very much hope that the Department’s efforts to develop its sites will encourage investment in private sector sites across the Promenade.’
Council Leader David Christian said:
‘The Council is pleased that these negotiations have been successfully completed. Thanks to this welcome investment in the capital the site can now be re-purposed and will complement the refurbishment of the promenade and regeneration of Douglas town centre.’
Comments from the Manx Electric Railway
“Those who know the MERS will have noticed an un-natural silence on our part regarding the horse tramway. The reason can now be published; We had no wish to embarrass the Government in its scheme to buy the stables. We are pleased to announce the scheme has concluded successfully and the deal is done.”