Leas Lift Funicular Railway

Client: Leas Lift CIC

Dates: 2020

Project: Leas Lift Funicular Railway

Folkestone’s Grade II* funicular railway lift was built in 1885 and is now one of Britain’s oldest water lifts. Since it opened it has carried more than 36.4 million passengers. In 2009 Folkestone and Hythe District Council’s lease ran out and it was deemed too expensive to run. Local campaigning enabled the lift to reopen in April 2010 as a living museum and restoration work took place. In 2017 the lift closed once more on health and safety grounds. A new company, Folkestone Leas Lift Company was formed to repair the lift and implement a long-term plan for its operation.

Alix is working with the Directors of the CIC to develop an application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund when it reopens in 2021. Her Associate Vikki Thompson has advised on the formation of a Fundraising Committee and developed a fundraising strategy and implementation plan. We have taken the opportunity to consult more widely with the public during Covid-19, recently receiving more than 2,500 responses to a public survey. The findings are being used to refined the project. Alix also assisted the Directors with an application to the Architectural Heritage Fund. A grant was secured in September 2020 which will enable the CIC to undertake feasibility work which will inform the Business Plan.