REPAIR works on Oswestry’s Cambrian Heritage Railway (CHR) building could move a step closer if Shropshire Council’s Cabinet agrees to spend more than £250,000 on it.

A report for the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, January 17, will ask members to agree to spend £270,107 from its capital programme at 30 per cent of the overall cost of £900,357.

The remaining money was secured in November 29023 by Shropshire Council from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) which had announced cash was available to repair historic buildings, such as the Grade II-listed CHR facility.


The building, which is home to the CHR volunteers, has been covered by scaffolding for almost two years after it was damaged by two consecutive heavy storms, with damage to corbels and heavy masonry.

The report to Cabinet has also highlighted that through post-storm inspection, surveyors and the council’s conservation team found asbestos, which will have to be removed and full restoration work carried out.

The report said: “In October 2023, the UKSPF in Shropshire announced there was funding available for the restoration of historic buildings in Shropshire, and the council team submitted a proposal for these works.

“On November 27, the council was notified that the bid had been successful and was being offered 70% of the required funding, amounting to £630,550.

“However, this grant offer requires 30 per cent match funding to be made available from the Council’s capital programme at a cost of £270,107.

“The terms of the grant require the works to be completed by the end of March 2025.

“This grant funding offer is a significant opportunity for the Council to realise one of their capital proprieties and therefore this report is seeking Cabinet approval to proceed with the project and assign the match funding through the capital programme.

“This initiative fits well with the Shropshire Plan meeting objectives in the area of Healthy Economy by bringing a largely disused and poor condition landmark building back into use as a major community and business asset.”

If Cabinet agrees, then more plans could be brought back to them for the further restoration of the building’s interior and re-use suitability.

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However, the report notes that any money for the project would come from borrowing.

It added: “It would be the aim of the project to bring the building into productive use to generate rental income to both service any borrowing and meet future maintenance and repair costs.

“This will be addressed in the Conservation Management Plan and associated Business Case."