PLANS TO create a permanent museum to celebrate construction of the Channel Tunnel hit crisis this week after organisers were presented with a time limit to relocate or lose its star attraction, the massive TBM.
Eurotunnel, which owns the TBM and most of the other equipment earmarked for the museum, has given its organiser just weeks to come up with a plan to shift the TBM from its famous site alongside the M20.
But Breakthrough, the organisation led by Lord Tony Berkeley trying to set up the museum, has neither the funds nor the expertise to move the giant TBM.
Cash-strapped Eurotunnel is keen to clear and develop the land alongside the M20, formerly the site of the visitor centre. While denying that the situation was critical, a spokeswoman said: We cannot hang around indefinitely. We are looking for a commitment to move the machine otherwise we have a buyer waiting to take it away.
Breakthrough co-ordinator Camellia Ween said it was approaching organisations which might be able to help cut up and transport the machine. However, she said they had neither the 25,000-50,000 necessary nor a place to store the machine.