The Brunel Goods Shed was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel more than 160 years ago and is thought to be the oldest remaining wayside shed of its type. Standing next to the town’s railway station at Cheapside, the building was saved in the 1980s by the Stroud Preservation Trust which negotiated a 40-year lease with the then British Rail.
Currently the building is being enclosed, the tracks floored over, and a secure, sheltered 3,000 square foot space being developed. This is in response to recent increased vandalism, people having living in the shed, building fires and dumping waste which threatened its very existence.
Stroud Preservation Trust (SPT) has taken this bold move, supported by Stroud District Council, Stroud Town Council and the Railway Heritage Trust as well as many other funding organisations.
The Goods Shed will now be one of the most extensive spaces in the centre of town. Nigel Paterson, chair of the Trust said: "We have been helped so much by the local authorities donating funds to secure this magnificent and unique building, but now it is time to make it into something that is more viable and needs less work for any prospective user."
"We are really interested to hear from businesses and community groups who have a vision for this great space and can bring it into a sustainable use. There is still work to be done on the building but having an end user would help to lever funds into the scheme. We are open to all kinds of ideas including purchase of the lease to move the building onto another leaseholder."
The property will go on the rental market with Andrew Watton this week.
"It is time for a practical use for the Goods Shed again as secure, dry premises with a great floor and lots of town centre parking," added Mr Paterson. "If this is the venue for you, then we would like to hear from you and get more information."
A prospectus giving some details of the information SPT would like to hear about can be obtained from ts website at: www.stroudpreservationtrust.org.uk.
Pictured below is the empty and open Goods Shed before the current work began. The other picture shows, from left to right, Mark Smith from Carter Construction, SPT trustee and town councillor Steve Hurrell, SPT treasurer Anne Mackintosh and site foreman Pete Webb in front of the newly enclosed facade.
Article added online 22nd June 2010
Pictures: ‘Before’ picture by Steve Hurrell. Other pictures by Andy Read.