Balloon 703 (masquerading as Sunderland 101) has been on loan to Beamish Museum from the Lancastrian Transport Trust since September 2010. The tram was painted into Sunderland red and cream livery prior to its move north, inspired by Sunderland English Electric built centre entrance car 99, which resembled a less streamlined version of a Blackpool Balloon in appearance.
Beamish have now concluded a deal to purchase 703 from the LTT, thus ensuring its long term future at the museum as part of their well maintained collection of trams.
Paul Jarman from the Beamish museum commented "101 will now fit into our longer term maintenance programme which will ultimately see it comprehensively overhauled and I would also like to see the original split blind destination boxes reinstated. This, along with a repaint and some other tweaks, would bring it more into line with the very similar appearance of Sunderland 99. For now though, the tram will continue to be used as a popular and effective member of the fleet."