PICTURES: Barrow Hill Roundhouse re-opens after £1.2m lottery cash revamp

editorial image

An icon of Derbyshire’s industrial heritage was reborn last weekend in a swirl of steam and rapturous applause.

5,000 visitors came to witness the grand reopening of the Barrow Hill Roundhouse - the only surviving site of its kind in the country.

Seeing the Flying Scotsman and Tornado here was all we had hoped for and more.

Alexa Stott

The renovation came about thanks to a £1.2m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which it is hoped will secure the building’s future for a hundred years to come.

The organisers of the long-awaited event were elated with how the weekend had gone.

Marketing manager, Alexa Stott, said: “We are over the moon - we have had an amazing, incredible weekend.

“We can now begin the next chapter in the Barrow Hill story - the future is bright for the roundhouse.”

The main attractions on the weekend were undoubtedly the iconic steam engines which had visited specially for the occasion.

“The roundhouse is absolutely unique and the HLF grant recognised that,” said Alexa.

“When we get people through the doors they really get that sense of awe.

“And seeing the Flying Scotsman and Tornado here was all we had hoped for and more.”

As well as the grand reopening of the centre itself, the weekend saw the venue play host to a stage production about the site’s history - featuring ‘performances’ from the iconic engines themselves.

“The play was sold out on Friday and Saturday,” said Alexa.

“And each time the Flying Scotsman came on she got a standing ovation.”

And the weekend also saw a number of firsts from the Flying Scotsman’s first visit to the roundhouse itself to the first time live moving steam had been used as part of a stage play.

But as well as this, the event was an opportunity for families to enjoy themselves while taking advantage of the facilities.

“We have had lots of positive reaction from visitors,” said Alexa.

“The roundhouse will tick lots of boxes for people - it is a fabulous day out or even just an afternoon.

“It was pretty good before this but it is even better now.”

The new Barrow Hill Roundhouse building will be open every Saturday and Sunday between 10-4.

Tickets are £3 for adults, £2 for children and £8 for families. Entry to the cafe and shop are free.

The building is also available for school trips and corporate events. More information can be found at the website www.barrowhill.org.