A community heritage centre could be created in Ballaugh from a former railways goods shed, if Ballaugh Heritage Trust’s plans are approved.
The trust has applied (14/00396/B) to government planners for the conversion of the shed – owned by Ballaugh Commissioners and currently used for storage – in Station Road.
In April 2012, the commissioners agreed to rent the shed to the trust for 10 years – for a sum of £10 per year with a condition it was only used as a heritage museum and for holding heritage exhibitions.
The trust, set up in 2005 to preserve, develop and conserve buldings and amenities in Ballaugh, believes the goods shed’s preservation is ‘imperative’ as ‘it is the sole survivor of its type’.
In the planning statement it says the building would be used to house a permanent exhibition highlighting the history of Ballaugh and the special nature of the Curragh.
It continues: ‘It will also be used as an educational resource, especially for schools in the area, as a showcase for community work and an additional focal point for visiting railway enthusiasts.’
In addition, part of the plans will see 20 metres of rail track being reinstated between the goods shed and the former loading ramp.
The Manx Northern Railway began operating in 1879, linking Ramsey with St John’s and Douglas.
Ballaugh station was the main stop between Kirk Michael and Ramsey.
From the start, it featured a crossing loop, cattle platform and a siding with goods shed.