A PROJECT aiming to celebrate the history of the former Vulcan Works by placing an old locomotive on display is making progress.

The Star reported last autumn on the campaign to return the train, named after designer Walter Urwin and built at the Newton-le-Willows manufacturers, Urwin, to the site as a memorial.

The Vulcan Works was one of the biggest locomotive manufacturers and exporters in the world which operated from 1830 until 2002.

Developments on the land have included housing and a sports club and the project aims to recognise the site's rich heritage by having the locomotive displayed on a plinth at the site's entrance

A fundraising page with a £25,000 target has been set up by the Newton and Earlestown Community Group.

Newton councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron had sourced the Walter Urwin locomotive following Redcar Steel Mill going into administration and was gifted the train.

A fundraising campaign was started to enable the Walter Urwin to come back to the area and fully refurbish the train, which was built in 1976.

So far £10,000 has already been gathered with support of public donations, St Helens Council and Lord Newton, but more is needed to prevent the train being scrapped.

Walter Urwin was an engineer at the Vulcan Works, who passed away just after designing the GEC Stephenson Locomotive, with the first of the production line named after him.

They were the last locomotives built at the Vulcan and worked at Redcar Steel Mill until it closed and then went in private ownership.

Cllr Seve Gomez-Aspron, vice chair of the NECG, said: "The Vulcan Works was a site of national significance and it was remiss of the councillors at the time to not insist on some sort of permanent tribute to the works when it finally closed in 2002.

"However, we have a chance to bring something pretty unique back to the site as a true reminder of Newton-le-Willows' proud industrial and railway heritage, the last ever loco made named after a Wargrave resident. It's a perfect tribute to a now lost industry.

"I hope the public can get behind the project and donate anything that they can to make sure we can do this."

He added: "Sadly, if we don't raise the money, the loco will be scrapped and lost forever.

"Please share this amongst your friends and networks. It will be a perfect compliment for the recently refurbished heritage trail which now runs through the Vulcan site. Let's make it happen."

People can donate at: necg.weebly.com/vulcan-train-donations.html