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Heritage Railway Issue 273

Heritage Railway is the definitive news source for the UK heritage railway scene. With its extensive network of contacts, Heritage Railway brings you amazing exclusives every month - along with features, stunning imagery, gala reports and much more.

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United Kingdom
Mortons Media Group, Ltd
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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
far from out of the woods

THE first round of Government grants through the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage announced on October 9, has been magnificent in throwing lifelines to members of our Covid-19 beleaguered sector. However, the payments, no matter how big or small, must be viewed as welcome but temporary breathing space rather than windfalls. The UK public loves heritage railways, and that is reflected by this magnanimous acknowledgment that they are now an essential part of the nation’s tourist economy. Over the past seven years, since the operational heritage railway movement was kick-started by Tom Rolt’s band of enthusiast volunteers at the Talyllyn, as outlined in our 70th anniversary feature on pages 64-69, there are many visitors making their annual visit to their nearest line that it ‘runs itself’ and is safe in perpetuity. “...as long…

5 min.
thanks a £10.6 million!

IN what may be the biggest single state cash injection into the heritage sector as a whole in its 70-year history, the Government has thrown 43 cash-strapped railways, tramways and museum venues a £10.6 million lifeline to offset the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and restrictions. The first round of emergency handouts for railways big and small which range in size from £20,000 to £970,000 are drawn from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage (CRFH), designed to secure the future of Britain’s heritage sites, museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas and music venues, and distributed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), in partnership with Historic England, on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The 42 venues are among 445 organisations across the country which have…

2 min.
grant boosts for southern neighbours

THE Bluebell Railway has been given £727,200 by the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage. The October 9 grant follows £250,000 given to the line by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to cover some of the costs for the period from August to November – and more than £400,000 raised in its own emergency appeal from members, supporters and the public. Like others, the line suffered from its inability to raise income to cover overheads during 20 weeks of lockdown closure from mid-March until August 7. The latest grant will cover some of the railway’s costs between now and March, including staff salaries, overheads, an improved online presence, some special events and financial assistance to generate additional revenue beyond train rides. Bluebell Railway Trust chairman Vernon Blackburn said: “The money will give our railway a…

1 min.
romney receives £470k – but needs more funding

THE Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway has received a £470,000 bailout under the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage scheme – but is asking it supporters to raise a further £200,000 to cover overheads in the coming months. The grant will be used to keep the railway running at present, while being prepared for a positive season in 2021. “Critical to this is maintaining all the engines, rolling stock, permanent way and buildings on our unique 93-year-old railway still being operated by the original fleet of locomotives through the winter, undertaken by a dedicated group of paid and volunteer staff,” said a statement from the railway, which had to stay closed from March until July 4. “This funding will ensure this team can be kept together, their expertise and experience can be utilised at…

1 min.
half-centenary lifeline for seaton tramway

SEATON Tramway has received a £435,100 grant in its 50th anniversary year. The Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage award will directly support wages, track and tram maintenance, and the creation of new offers and opportunities with partners and exhibitions, said a tramway statement. Since reopening on July 4, trams have been running at a lower capacity due to social distancing. The tramway, which is laid on part of the LSWR Seaton branch and ran its first services in August 1970, as highlighted last issue, has been awarded the We’re Good To Go accreditation from Visit England and the AA Covid-Secure badge. Chief executive Jenny Nunn said: “Having to close on March 23, and consequently cancel any income for the next three months, was one of the toughest things any business has had to…

2 min.
the new minehead millionaire!

AN £865,000 Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage grant – added to £312,271 which the West Somerset Railway and its supportive associations have already raised – means that the line now has £1,177,271 to weather the current storm and work towards reopening. The 23-mile line, which usually carries up to 200,000 passengers a year, ran its last steam train on March 17, and needs every penny it can get to compensate for lost income. As reported last issue, it is planning to run Santa specials from Bishops Lydeard: details are available at www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/events/detail/santa-express The award, which followed in the wake of the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s emergency £28,700 grant to the railway, will enable the line to bring people back from furlough, retraining staff and reinstating competencies, policies and procedures, to prepare not…