The need to demolish a building formerly used by the horse tramway has resulted in an early finish to this year’s tram season.
It comes after a regular programme of monitoring has taken place since the government took ownership of the building in 2018.
Despite a range of repairs and remedial work undertaken in an effort to keep the registered structure watertight, an inspection following recent stormy has led to emergency demolition being recommended. This was reinforced following a separate inspection undertaken by external consultants.
Demolition will take place as soon as a contractor is appointed.
A propping scaffold is in place to help secure the building in the short-term, and the footpath in front of the buildings and the car park to the side have been closed as a precautionary measure.
Department of Infrastructure (DOI) Minister Tim Crookall MHK said: ‘The decision to demolish has been reached by taking into account specialist advice and the department is now looking for a firm to carry out the work straightaway.
‘This development is, of course, regrettable due to the building’s age and relationship with the historic horse tram operation. 'I would add that the historic stable block to the rear of the building is unaffected by the demolition plan and is expected to remain in use for many years to come.’
This means that services will only be provided for passengers who have pre-booked until the end of the season on October 29. Bookings appear to be unavailable on the Douglas Horse Tramway website.
Minister Crookall added: ‘While it is a great shame to have to reduce our service this close to the end of the season, the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway has had a fantastic year in 2023, during which our team of dedicated staff and trammers have delivered more than 40,000 passenger journeys.’