Steamy days at museum are in the near future

A steam engine
A steam engine

A new tourist attraction is set to be built in our area – and it promises a steamy visit!

On Wednesday Central Beds Council’s development management committee unanimously approved a planning application for a museum for the public display of The Saunders Collection of steam engines, fairground rides, mechanical organs and associated memorabilia.

The application was submitted by Central Beds Council Councillor John Saunders, who owns the well known collection and displays it around the area. Mr Saunders is not a member of the planning committee.

The site of the museum is north of Baldock Road in Stotfold, outside the town’s settlement boundary.

The 7,560m squared building will be used as a leisure venue for tea dances, Christmas shows and band nights as well as the exhibitions.

There will be a water feature at the front of the building, which will allow steam watercraft to be demonstrated and be used as a water resource for the steam engines’ boilers.

To the west of the building there will be space for visitors to see traction engines in action and ploughing demonstrations. The museum will employ one full time and member of staff, one part time employee on open days and 50 part time employees during entertainment events, as well as 10 volunteers.

Land to the west of the site, which is owned by Central Beds Council, has been given planning permission for change of use so that it can be used for an extension of Stotfold Water Mill Nature Reserve.

The plan now goes to the secretary of state for approval.