A RAILWAY signal box built almost 140 years ago could be rebuilt and opened to the public as part of an arts project.

The art organisation In-Situ wants to work with Network Rail to salvage the Brierfield signal box, which is set to demolished to make way for a new system.

Councillors are set to approve the demolition at a meeting of the Brierfield Area Committee on Tuesday.

Council planning officer Keith Thompson said: “Network Rail advises that they have been working with a local community group called In-Situ who have ambitions to reconstruct the signal box, within the conservation area (on land likely to be Brierfield Mills car park).”

Network Rail told the council that they are committed to reclaiming reusable fabric from the building which can be given to In-Situ.

The signal box was built in 1876 and went through a review with English Heritage in 2012 to assess its merits for listing, but it was not recommended due to alterations to the building over the years and its setting.

Mr Thompson said: “Network Rail would also source and supply copies of the original construction drawings to aid the groups development plans.

“The signal box was never available for public use and the erection of a new building by the community group would open a new life for the historic interest in these buildings and with it likely to be located within the conservation area, would enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area.

“It is concluded therefore that a building built in same materials and much improved in appearance, would contribute to providing a public benefit for future community uses.”