Beamish, The Living Museum of the North, has opened its very own replica Northern General bus depot, helping to preserve transport heritage and engineering skills, along with the century-old Northern name.
The depot and workshop, which is part of the £20m Remaking Beamish project, is home to the museum’s growing fleet of buses and will allow visitors to watch engineering work on historic vehicles.
Learning activities in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) will take place at the bus depot and apprenticeships will ensure that heritage engineering skills are passed on.
Paul Jarman, Assistant Director – Design, Transport and Industry, said: “We are thrilled to be opening the Northern General Transport Bus Depot at Beamish. With the incredible growth in visitor numbers over the past decade we have been expanding our fleet of period vehicles to meet rising demand.
“The new bus depot and associated workshop has been created to support this growth and we’re now lucky to have one of the best facilities in any museum in the UK for maintaining our fleet.
“We’d like to thank our funders and supporters who are helping us preserve the region’s heritage, including transport heritage, for future generations.”
Martijn Gilbert, Managing Director at Go North East, said: “We’re delighted to see the opening of the Northern General Transport Bus Depot at Beamish Museum. As a long-standing partner, it’s great to have been involved in this exciting project and to see everyone’s hard work come to fruition.
“Having operated buses in the North East for over 100 years, starting out way back in 1913, connecting communities and being a major employer particularly in areas close to Beamish, including Chester-le-Street, Stanley and Consett, it’s fitting that we’re supporting the museum with their new bus depot, which also forms an important part of keeping our history alive.”