The Severn Valley Railway has released an important update from the three companies in the Severn Valley Railway Group – Severn Valley Railway Ltd., Severn Valley Railway Holdings PLC. and Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd.
The Severn Valley Railway said:
The Railway urgently needs your help – we rely heavily on the regular income from visitors to keep us running but, in light of Government advice in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we have found it both necessary and sensible to postpone all our train services and to close the Engine House Visitor Centre, our gift shops and our refreshment rooms until further notice. We have also taken the difficult decision to cancel many events such as our Easter Holiday activities, Spring Steam Gala, Open House Weekend, Spring Diesel Festival and our 50th Anniversary celebrations in May, all of which were predicted to generate vital large scale income to keep the railway running.
Without this income the Railway faces a very uncertain future and, although the Government has announced various support measures for businesses, they offer insufficient help to the SVR at present. We, like many other businesses, are not insured for business interruption caused by the pandemic and the only help currently available to us is through Government backed loans (if indeed we qualify), which would put the railway into significant debt and would take many years to pay off.
We therefore face a very significant loss of income, over an uncertain amount of time, which through no fault of our own could potentially put the whole SVR’s existence in jeopardy.
This announcement comes as the COVID-19 virus grinds the railway business to a halt, meaning most heritage lines in the UK are without stable income until the epidemic clears.
To donate to the emergency appeal, click here to visit the SVR appeal page. Taxpayers can apply for 25% gift aid at no extra cost.
Other methods of donation are available, which can be found on the Severn Valley Railway’s website.
Here at RailAdvent wish that all heritage lines in the UK can recover from these troubled times.
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