THE TRAIN now arriving will be pulling into the school and hospital!

Two local groups have won a Pacer carriage to renovate and they found out on last night’s One Show.

Fagley Primary School and Airedale Hospital are both to receive the carriages which are being decommissioned by Northern as part of its modernisation programme.

The school will use theirs as a science lab helping promote STEM learning while the hospital plans to transform it carriage into a mixed-use, non-clinical space to improve the experience of patients. With a particular focus on helping children and families, as well as those suffering with dementia, it will provide a unique communal environment to support patients during their stay.

Their bids were part of the Government’s Transform a Pacer competition so they serve areas in new and exciting ways focused on bringing the community together.

Liz Thompson, a teacher at Fagley School, said pupils were very excited by the project and were filmed by the show last week in a science lesson for a segment in the programme.

She said: “The children are really excited and thrilled to win.

“They are getting really keen. This will help them learn through play, that side really excites them.

“It’s fantastic. It’s a huge chance for us to get extra space.

“It will encourage science discoveries and an eco role.

“We have to make sure it is insulated, heated and has the specialist equipment we need. We will be getting expert advice.

“We are waiting on the details. We plan to put it right at the front of the school.”

She said it will able to be used by the local community who will come in for science fairs.

Jodie Hearnshaw, fundraising manager at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, wrote and submitted the entry for the Pacer carriage competition. She said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the winners. This amazing asset will give us endless opportunities to provide excellent patient experience.

“Our plans for using this brilliant multi-purpose space include our children’s unit, our dementia patients, our youth volunteers and our community.

“We plan to involve our patients, employees and our community in the renovation of the carriage to enable us to utilise the space, and we’re asking anyone who would like to be involved to get in touch.

“This has been a real joint effort between the Trust charity (Airedale Hospital and Community Charity), our children’s unit, our patient experience team and our estates team, and I’m so proud and pleased that we were successful”.

Brendan Brown, Chief Executive of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said: “This is fantastic news, especially as it comes in our 50th anniversary year when we’re celebrating our last 50 years and looking forward to the next 50.

“It’s also good news that it’s sustainable, a great way to re-purpose old rolling stock to the benefit of our patients and our local community. I’m looking forward to seeing the carriage arrive on site here at Airedale; it will be an incredible sight to see it delivered.

“We’re always looking for creative ways to improve the experience of our patients and the carriage will absolutely deliver that. We’re extremely grateful to the judges for selecting us amongst other potential worthy winners.”

A third West Yorkshire group to win was Platform 1, a men’s mental health charity at Huddersfield Station, which will be converting their Pacer into a kitchen to teach cooking skills to those they support.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The three winners are incredibly deserving, having presented creative and innovative ideas that will see their Pacer have a lasting and positive impact within their community.”

“As their three decades of service comes to an overdue end, it is satisfying to know that new life for three of the last Pacer trains will ensure future generations can experience them in a different light.”

Head Judge Pete Waterman, a train buff and record producer, said: “The railway has always been very good at recycling its old assets.

“Lots of communities have benefited from this action over the years, we only have to look at the preserved railways and what they mean to rural communities.

“Where passengers might not miss the Pacers – their loss to the railways are these organisations’ gain.”

The winners were selected for their creativity and their potential to engage with and serve the local community. The winners were the best examples of projects that will change lives and help those in need in the local area.

The Department for Transport will now work with the winners to start on the installation and conversion of the former train carriages.

The winning proposals will receive one of three Pacer carriages from rolling stock company Porterbrook.