A NEW visitor centre in a historic Victorian building is expected to open this Spring.

The stone water tower at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in Keighley dates back to 1883, and is Grade II listed.

It is thought to be the last functioning water tower of its kind in the UK, and last year work to turn the structure into a visitor centre for the attraction began.

The next phase of the scheme is now under way.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Work underwayWork underway (Image: Bradford Council)

It is part of the £100,000 project funded by Keighley Towns Fund, with an additional £42,000 from The Railway Heritage Trust.

A 30,000-gallon water tank sits on the roof of the historic industrial building, which still provides the water for the railway’s steam locomotives.

The development of the water tower into a heritage centre will improve the experience for the many visitors to station and its heritage rail line by providing information about the line's history and the engines.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Work to the outside of the listed water towerWork to the outside of the listed water tower (Image: Bradford Council)

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 work is due to be completed next month in anticipation of opening to the public in April this year.