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CGI of new AIMREC visitor centre

CGI of new AIMREC visitor centre

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AIMREC model railway centre gets planning approval

CGI of new AIMREC visitor centre

CGI of new AIMREC visitor centre

Plans to transform the old Klondyke Railway Works site in Ashford’s Newtown area into a model railway centre are on track after being given planning approval by the council.

The Ashford International Model Railway Excellence Centre (AIMREC) says it will create an ‘important tourist destination’ for the town that could bring up to £20 million to the local economy.

The new centre has some backing from celebrity model railway enthusiasts including The Who’s Roger Daltrey and TV presenter and musician Jools Holland. Mr Daltrey is also a joint patron of AIMREC, sharing the role with businessman Sir William McAlpine.

The plans for the visitor centre include an observatory, working model railways, with a miniature outside steam train running at weekends, lecture halls and  60 car parking spaces.

Cliff Parsons, AIMREC spokesman, said: “Our aim is to create a wow factor with all the model displays and we have more than 150 years’ experience between us in model railway hobbies.

“We will be the only model railway exhibition centre in the world and we will show the history of Ashford railway works.

“We are pleased that planning permission has been granted and look forward to moving to the next stage.

“We can now buy the site, because the sale was subject to planning permission.”
The centre, which will be open seven days a week from 10am - 5pm, received unanimous support from councillors.

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