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Project Update – December 2021

It was such a delight and a relief to hear that we had secured the grant for project and we were very pleased that the sun shone for the public announcement. But what happens once the initial excitement dies down?

Unsurprisingly, once the grant has been awarded you then have to produce another set of updated information in order to get “Permission to Start”. This includes updates on cashflow, funding, programme, procurement and recruitment plans and Project Execution Plan not to mention arranging the legal charge over the property the NLHF require. We received fomal permission to start on 9 November.

The Project Board has been established and will meet monthly from January. The members of the Project Board are: Paul Lewin (chair), John Prideaux, Edwina Bell, Iain Wilkinson, Stephen Murfitt, Graham Cole, Alex Spring, Stephen Grieg, Kaz Spring. There are other meetings that report into the Project Board covering the Activity Plan, Interpretation, Capital works and the Small Loco Shed.

Dr Edwina Bell will continue as Heritage Project Manager to oversee the whole project and generally spin plates, get everyone working together and watch the money. The professional design team who helped us through the development phase will continue through the delivery phases and are now beavering away on the RIBA 4 (Technical design) which gets us ready to go out to tender. The Small Loco Shed team have appointed a local structural engineer to finalise their RIBA4 designs.

In order to simplify the main contract we have started some preliminary work over the winter period to upgrade the water supply, remove some of the easily removable asbestos from project buildings and commissioning Scottish Power to bury the main 11kv power supply through the car park (not in the project) and then through the Top Yard and down the back to the sub-station where the current cable is much too close to the surface.

The closure of the Cob for the works to the new hotel near Harbour Station has been useful as the works to the Boston Lodge water supply have been done at the same time rather than having a second closure.

A key early task will be to agree the procurement for the main contract from pre-qualification through to final tender – this is a crucial exercise and consultation with the design team and advisors within the railway community will get underway shortly.

Recruitment for the Work Placement Officer, Engineering Volunteer Supervisor and Interpretation Officer is underway and we hope to have people in post in February/March 2022 with the three trainee posts not far behind. Further consultation and work on the Activity Plan will start when these staff are in place.

Interpretation design is also being finalised and once the Interpretation Officer is in place there will be volunteer opportunities to help with research and development of interpretation coming up.

It remains only to thank the National Lottery once again for their support and all the people who buy lottery tickets. We are underway!