CAMPAIGNERS are hopeful that an old locomotive will be in place this summer to create a lasting tribute to the former Vulcan Works.

The Newton and Earlestown Community Group has reached its £25,000 target to restore and bring home the Walter Urwin Loco to be displayed at the Vulcan site after a year's campaigning.

Recently 62 members of the public took a trip to to the Chasewater Railway in Walsall where the loco is currently being restored.

Works to remove any unnecessary weight are being undertaken and the loco will be cosmetically restored to appear as it did when it left the Vulcan in 1976.

The Vulcan Works in Newton-le-Willows, opened in the 19th Century, was one of the biggest locomotive manufacturers and exporters in the world before its closure in 2002.

The land is now home to a housing development and sports clubs.

After raising the funds, the NECG is now awaiting correspondence from St Mowden so that planning permission can be submitted.

And the group is hopeful that the Walter Urwin loco can be in place by the summer.

Newton councillor and vice chairman of the NECG, Seve Gomez-Aspron, said: “We see the vital importance to recognise our key place in history with the Vulcan Works building and exporting over 6,500 locos during the time it was open. Hopefully St Modwen will give a speedy reply and we can get the project moving!

"This has been a fantastic project to lead on and the support from the council, businesses, community groups, the public and organisations like UNITE the Union has made this vision possible.

"We will raise a little more funding to ensure a contingency fund. But we’ve achieved the hard part! We need to make a massive fuss of the arrival and keep an eye out for dates when they’re set. Well done and thank you to everyone who donated!”