The Severn Valley Railway has announced that it is one of 445 organisations in the UK receiving “lifesaving” grants from the government in the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement was made today, Friday 9th October, as the Severn Valley Railway prepares to welcome the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage Nigel Huddlestone MP.
The MP met the footplate crew and will visit a mobile exhibition inside an adapted brake van.
The railway has received £906,000 through the scheme and will be paid over the next six months. The money will be used to pay for salaries and security measures (which will include CCTV and fire systems).
The SVR has already raised thousands in their own appeal, and also has grants from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past. This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounce back post-Covid.”
The Chairman of Severn Valley Railway (Holdings) Plc Nick Paul CBE, said: “This funding will play an essential part in the SVR’s survival through the pandemic. We expect to have lost around £2.5 million in revenue this year, as a direct result of the lockdown and subsequent restrictions. Although we’ve been running services again for more than two months now, we won’t be able to make up for such a severe drop in income. The Severn Valley Railway plays a huge part in the Midlands economy and is close to the hearts of the 250,000 visitors who come to us every year. Thanks to this generous government funding, we’ll be able to keep the railway running so it can continue to be a source of community pride in the future.”
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “It is absolutely right that investing in heritage should be a priority during this crisis, and this support by Government is crucial. Heritage creates jobs and economic prosperity, is a major driver for tourism and makes our towns, cities, and rural areas better places to live. All of this is so important for our wellbeing and will be particularly vital when we start to emerge from this incredibly difficult time.
“Our heritage is still facing a perilous future – we are not out of the woods yet. But this hugely welcome funding from Government, and the money we continue to invest from the National Lottery, has undoubtedly stopped heritage and the organisations that care for it being permanently lost.”
Get image downloads, Prints and Streaming Video
The latest railway news
Railway Prints, DVD’s / Blu-Ray’s and more
Come and share your railway pictures
Mainline UK Steam Info
Upcoming mainline steam tours/loco movements
Severn Valley Railway
Visit their website