Published: 12:01, 23 August 2015
This exclusive artist’s impression reveals how a proposed £4 million model railway museum in Ashford could look.
Ashford International Model Railway Excellence Centre (AIMREC) has released the images that show the latest detailed plans for the old Klondyke Railway Works site in Newtown.
The images have been unveiled ahead of a public consultation for the plans on Saturday and Sunday, September 19 and 20, at Ashford Designer Outlet.
Residents are invited to view the display, which will include site plans, access details and architect designs of the proposals, and an AIM-REC spokesman will be able to answer questions.
The plans include a 30,000 sq ft building with a huge display area, lecture and demonstration theatre, specialist model shop, cafe and observation deck for visitors to watch the Eurostar travel over the viaduct.
Cliff Parsons, who is coordinating the project, said: “We are very pleased with the design and we hope people like it.
“We are quite confident that it is going to go into planning in a similar form.
“We couldn’t give any sort of time frame for the start or finish of the work until planning is approved. We were encouraged to develop a more contemporary look with decorative themes to the buildings of wood, coal and steel.”
James Reuther, of RDA Architects, who have been working on the design, said the plans were revisited to make amendments to the parking.
He said: “There are still a couple of areas we need to work on but it’s nearly there.
“We did make a big alteration to the original design, but that was mainly due to the car parking.”
The scheme has benefited from high profile celebrity endorsement, including The Who frontman Roger Daltrey and presenter and musician Jools Holland.
Mr Daltrey, a model railway enthusiast, formally accepted the role of joint patron of AIMREC last year, sharing the role with millionaire businessman Sir William McAlpine.
He visited Ashford to discuss the plans with council officials last summer.
In a previous radio interview with DJ Chris Evans, the 70-year-old rocker said it was important for Britain to be proud of its railway heritage.
He said: “We’re trying to start a model railway museum down in Ashford, me and a few pals down in Kent.”