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Plans to open Hove Engineerium to tourists unveiled
1:10pm Tuesday 30th October 2012 in News
New plans have been submitted to help turn a Victorian pumping station into a major tourist attraction.
The British Engineerium in Hove opened its doors on Sunday, the first in a schedule of monthly openings throughout the winter.
Plans have now been submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council for work to add vital touches to the attraction, including a shop, ticket office and customer service area.
The former Goldstone Pumping Station in The Droveway was bought at auction in 2006 by Mike Holland, who dreams of returning the closed museum and exhibition hall to its former glory.
Plans to transform the workshops and create an underground exhibition space were approved last year. This week new details have been revealed that include the partial demolition and extension of the gatehouse buildings to form a ticket office and shop. The entrance gates would be repositioned.
Mr Holland said: “All our planning permissions are in place and are being implemented as we speak.”
A consultation on the new plans has already managed to prove controversial.
Architecture campaigners have complained that consultation letters have been sent out to addresses that have not existed for 50 years and five were sent to a nearby supermarket.
According to the British Engineerium’s website, when complete the “ambitious” renovation will include an underground railway to transport people around the building.
Mr Holland and his team opened the grade II listed building’s doors on Sunday to celebrate the completion of the first stage of the restoration. About 500 people explored the Victorian buildings, which dates from 1865 to 1876 and originally provided water to Brighton and Hove via giant steam pumps.
A collection of working pumps, engines and models are stored inside and the plans for the industrial museum’s future development were also on display.
Engineer Harry Beecroft travelled from Edenbridge in Kent to visit it. He said: “With technology taking over at such a pace it is refreshing to revisit some of England’s history that promises to give visitors a taste of real England with an emphasis on classic tradition.”
Mr Holland hopes to attract up to 50,000 people a year to the attraction, which he aims will open by 2014.
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