THE project to restore Llanelli’s historic Railway Goods Shed was featured on the popular BBC Two programme Great British Railway Journeys on Monday (January 8, 6.30pm).

Michael Portillo, the programme’s presenter, visited the Grade II listed building last summer to learn about the history of Llanelli’s railways and the plans to bring the Goods Shed back into use for the benefit of the community. The latest episode featured an interview with local historian and a performance by Cor Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir inside the Goods Shed.

The Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust (LRGST) has been working to redevelop the derelict Goods Shed and surrounding areas into a vibrant community hub, offering a range of educational, training, upskilling, arts activities and business start-up support, as well as a café and visitor centre.

If the remaining funding can be secured to complete the project, it is hoped locals residents and schools, as well as tourists, will visit the Goods Shed to learn about and celebrate Llanelli’s heritage.

Nia Griffith, MP for Llanelli and Chair of the LRGST, said: ‘We were delighted to be asked to take part in this episode of Great British Railway Journeys. It is a fantastic opportunity to make people aware of the project to transform the Railway Goods Shed and the benefits it will bring the community.

We managed to surprise the presenter Michael Portillo and TV crew with a special performance by Llanelli’s own Cor Meibion choir inside the building. Hopefully this performance is a sign of brilliant artistic and cultural events to come when the project is successfully completed.”

Development support has come from the Heritage Lottery, Big Lottery, Architectural Heritage Fund, Carmarthenshire County Council, Dwr Cymru and Llanelli Town Council, which has helped to secure planning permission and draw up the innovative and creative architectural proposals to restore the building. Bids have been put in for the capital funding needed to complete the £2.2m project.

The LRGST already has partnerships with a number of organisations that all have strong records of delivery, including Carmarthenshire Youth and Children’s Association, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Cyfle Building Ltd, Indycube Community, Bluebee Productions and Hive Theatre School.

The Llanelli Railway Goods Shed, which was built in 1875 and can be found on Marsh Street, is a classic example of the Brunel style of architecture and one of the few surviving buildings of its kind in Wales.

Michael Portillo from Llanelli Online on Vimeo.

Anyone wanting to sponsor or get involved with the project should contact Nia Griffith MP (nia.griffith.mp@parliament.uk) or the LRGST Secretary Richard Roper (richard876@btinternet.com). The Trustees are particularly interested to hear from people interested in Llanelli’s industrial heritage and local history or with expertise in business, marketing, funraising, accountancy, the arts, education, practical construction and social media.

Information about the LRGST and the project to restore the Goods Shed can be found on:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/LlanelliRailwayGoodsShed/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/LlanelliRGST
Website - http://www.llanellirailwaygoodsshedtrust.org.uk

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