The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway (KWVR) is entering the next stage of its ambitious project to convert a historic water tower into a contemporary visitor centre, enhancing the overall experience for patrons.

Last year marked the commencement of remedial work on the tower located on platform four at Keighley Station. This £100,000 initiative, generously funded by Keighley Towns Fund, supplemented by an additional £42,000 from The Railway Heritage Trust, aims to revitalize the tower while preserving its historical significance.

Atop the venerable industrial edifice sits a 30,000-gallon water tank, still serving as the water source for the railway’s steam locomotives. It is believed to be the last operational tower of its kind in the United Kingdom.

The transformation of the water tower into a heritage centre is set to elevate the visitor experience by offering insights into the history of the railway line and the intricacies of the engines.

A spokesperson from Keighley and Worth Valley Railway said: “Work started at the end of last year on the interior of the tower and work is now under way on the permanent floor. We hope this will be completed by mid-February so that the interactive elements can then be installed.

“It’s incredible to see this historic building have a new lease of life and we know how much enjoyment visitors will get from the centre when it opens.”

Work on the building will see its interior restored to create an accessible centre for passengers and visitors without compromising the operational function of the water tower itself.

Bradford Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Transport and Planning Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw added: “This historic water tower is such an important structure and part of Keighley’s proud rail heritage. We are delighted the building will have a new lease of life for the future while maintaining the crucial purpose for which it was built.”

Acting Chair of the Keighley Towns Fund Liz Barker added: “The KWVR is one of the leading educational, heritage and tourist attractions across the district. This is part of a whole list of projects considered and planned by the KWVR, which will see it modernise and transform its offer, so it can continue to delight passengers and visitors for many years to come.”

The completion of the project is anticipated by March, with plans for public opening in April this year. For additional details on the initiative, visit KWVR’s official project page.