Bauman Lyons led a multidisciplinary team (ACCEND, BWA, FORE, SLC Rail, Tourism UK, Camlin Lonsdale, Built Heritage) to develop a 2025 Masterplan for a 13-hectare Head of Steam Museum site in Darlington comprising a collection and six early examples of steam railway buildings. The site is to be re-imagined in time for 200-year celebrations of the first steam passenger train launched in Darlington in 1825.
Masterplanning included scoping of the brief through a series of stakeholder interviews; heritage assessment of the buildings and of the cluster heritage value of the site itself; a sustainable movement strategy; a buildings reuse strategy; site wide strategies for play, events, interpretation, landscape, energy security, visitor routes, and pay; strategic work on railway connections; capital cost estimates, programme of delivery and phasing, a business plan and a funding strategy.
- Working with some of the tenants on site, A1 Trust, NEPEG and Darlington Railway Model Club, who are a civic organisation who preserve, celebrate, promote and actively develop the engineering of steam trains. These organisations provide unique social capital on which an authentic visitor offer can be built.
- Working in tandem with a business planner baselining the project and learning about precedents allowed us to identify ‘Play’ as a key component of the heritage visitor attraction.
- Early engagement with the interpretation team allowed the masterplan proposals to integrate interpretation opportunities.