Originally installed in 1885, the
Grade II Listed Leas Lift is a funicular railway which
carries passengers between the seafront and the promenade.
It is one of the oldest water lifts in the UK.
The lift operates using water and
gravity and is controlled from a small cabin at the
top of the cliff. It has carried more than 50 million
people since it opened, in a process that is especially
energy efficient. The lift has a very small carbon footprint
as it emits no pollution and recycles all of the water
used to drive the cars.
In June 2009, Shepway District Council’s
lease ran out and it was decided that the lift was too
expensive to run. Campaigners subsequently protested
against the closure of the lift and in April 2010, it
was announced that the lift was to be restored.
125 years after it first opened,
the operation of the Folkestone lift has been taken
over by The Folkestone Leas Lift Community Interest
Company. The company operates the lift on behalf of
the community as a non-profit-making organisation and
has opened the attraction as a living museum