Mail Rail attraction on track after £4.5m grant

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03 June 2014
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imports_CCGB_bpmastaffcelebratethe_30402.jpg BPMA staff celebrate the grant at the Mail Rail Car Depot
The British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA) has been awarded £4.5m by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), putting delivery of a subterranean ride on Mail Rail – the old Post Office Underground Railway – on track. ...
The British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA) has been awarded £4.5m by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), putting delivery of a subterranean ride on Mail Rail – the old Post Office Underground Railway – on track.

The HLF’s grant means the BPMA’s plans for a new, national museum, to be called The Postal Museum and to be based at Mount Pleasant, London, remain on course. Approximately 95% funded, BPMA is now focusing on raising the remaining capital necessary to enter the build phase, with construction expected to begin later this year.

The Postal Museum will chart almost 400 years of Britain’s social, communications and design history through the postal service, bringing to light the organisation’s constant struggle to keep the world in touch. In addition to a permanent museum dedicated to the extraordinary stories of Britain’s postal past, the BPMA also plans to open parts of the unique Mail Rail system to the public for the first time in its history.

Used to transport mail across London for more than three quarters of a century, new trains will carry people, rather than post through a section of the original tunnels before exploring an interactive and atmospheric exhibition in the Car Depot at Mount Pleasant, where train maintenance was undertaken throughout the railway’s life.

Adrian Steel, BPMA’s Director commented: ‘With this significant grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we have taken another major step towards building a world-class, sustainable museum that will highlight the important story of our universally recognisable postal service. From the Napoleonic wars to piracy, the invention of the first computer to the advent of instant communication, the postal service has played a vital role in both British, and global, history and shaping the world as we know it today. We thank HLF for showing its support to this important project.’

Sue Bowers, Head of HLF London, said: ‘This wonderful new museum and archive repository are set to be enhanced by plans to open up the historic ‘Mail Rail’ for visitors to experience… we’re delighted to be confirming an investment of £4.5m today.’

Find out more about the BPMA at: www.postalheritage.org.uk
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