Programme of repairs to be agreed for Cambrian Heritage Railways building in Oswestry
Shropshire Council is to work with Cambrian Heritage Railways, Oswestry Town Council, the Future Oswestry Group and conservation experts to agree a programme of repairs for the Grade II listed Cambrian Heritage Railways building in Oswestry, to help secure a viable long-term use for the building.
Following many years of neglect, Shropshire Council took possession of the building in early 2023, after it had suffered storm damage the previous year.
After establishing a project group to oversee the surveying, planning and restoration of the building, the council installed scaffolding around it to safeguard pedestrians and to facilitate the inspection and repair of the ‘corbels’ found under the eaves.
However, the repair work proved to be more complex than initially anticipated and the appointed contractor has been unable to effect a short term repair as hoped. Specialist help has now been sought from the council’s conservation team and from historic building specialists who are investigating an approach to stabilising the corbels.
This means the scaffolding will stay in place while a comprehensive project is undertaken to stabilise and address the poor condition of the building. This will involve discussions with the Town Council. Cambrian Heritage Railways and Future Oswestry Group and others.
The project group is also seeking to identify funding opportunities to support future repair and improvement work.
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for housing and assets, said
“Shropshire Council took possession of the Cambrian Heritage Railways building earlier this year to help secure a viable long term use for what is a very important historic building for Oswestry.
“Sadly a short-term repair hasn’t been possible and the scaffolding will likely need to remain in place for a long period. Whilst this may be disappointing news, it will help ensure that the repairs are undertaken correctly and sympathetically to safeguard the future of the building, whilst also ensuring the continued the safety of the public.”
The building is a high-status Victorian building constructed largely of brick and with an ornate row of corbels forming part of the soffit under the eaves. The corbels are specifically referenced in the Listing by Historic England and are a key feature of the building.
For more information about Cambrian Heritage Railways, visit their website.