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Sainsbury and Heritage Trust Step In To Rehome Staircase


Heritage Trust Steps In To Look At Rehoming Staircase

Transport enthusiasts have stepped in to look at providing a new home for a piece of Leicester’s industrial heritage.

Leicester Transport Heritage Trust hopes to take on a spiral staircase that was once a fixture at Belgrave Road railway station.

The station, which was Leicester’s terminal for the Great Northern Railway, opened in 1883 and gave Leicester direct access to the east coast. The last passenger train left the station in September 1962.

It was later demolished, and the site became a Sainsbury’s supermarket. The staircase was retained and incorporated into the Sainsbury’s site.

Now that the supermarket has relocated, Leicester City Council and Sainsbury’s are keen to ensure that the staircase is not lost.

Leicester Transport Heritage Trust expressed an interest and, after a visit to view the staircase, the trust now hopes to give it a new home.

Cllr Adam Clarke, who is the city council’s heritage champion, led a campaign to ensure the staircase wasn’t forgotten.

He said: “This is an important part of Leicester’s railway history and I’m really pleased it will be preserved.

“Although the staircase isn’t listed, it does have important historical value to the people of Leicester. It’s great that the city council recognises that heritage doesn’t need to be listed for it to be of value.

“The transport heritage trust recognises this too, and they would make ideal new owners.”

Robert Kemp from Leicestershire Heritage Transport Trust said: “I went to visit the staircase on behalf of the trust and it’s my fervent hope that it can be incorporated and displayed at the Stoneygate tram depot site, in London Road, which we intend to transform into a local transport heritage centre.

“I was very impressed with the staircase and I think it’s important that we do everything we can to preserve it for public enjoyment. I can’t think of a better home for it than with us.”

David Mills, head of property communications for Sainbury’s, said: “Since this spiral staircase has been preserved within the former Belgrave Sainsbury’s store for more than 25 years, we are delighted that the Leicester Transport Heritage Trust are interested in providing a new home for this historic piece, so that it can be appreciated by railway enthusiasts and residents alike.”

The city council is currently compiling a new ‘local list’ of heritage assets which, while not necessarily holding an official status (such as being listed or in a conservation area), are of important local value.