The Swanage Railway has announced that it has been awarded £223,200 thanks to the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.
A total of 445 organisations have shared the funding to help with maintenance and other work to keep venues open after the Coronavirus pandemic.
The funding for the Swanage Railway will be spent in the following ways:
- Upgrade the passenger reservation system.
- Keep stations and carriages sanitised.
- Improve information screens at Swanage and Corfe Castle.
- Install new information screens at Harman’s Cross and Norden.
- Continue to have PPE available for staff and volunteers.
- Have more seating dividers where needed.
- Enable Equalities Act training for staff.
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 bounceback post Covid.”
Randy Coldham, the Swanage Railway’s fund-raising chairman, said: “This grant is integral to the future success of the Swanage Railway by providing financial assistance to improve our systems, and support our training and Covid-19 responsibilities. It does not negate the importance of our SOS Appeal which supports the day to day running of our railway through this coming winter.
Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive, said: “It is heartening to see grants, both large and small, from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund helping heritage sites and organisations across the country which have been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19. These grants range from giving skilled craft workers the chance to keep their trades alive to helping heritage organisations pay the bills, and to kick-starting repair works at our best-loved historic sites. The funding is an essential lifeline for our heritage and the people who work tirelessly to conserve it for us all, so that we can hand it on to future generations.”
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.”
Kate Mavor, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: “This support for our nation’s heritage is fantastic news. Over the last few months, our teams have been working hard to welcome visitors back safely to the great castles, stone circles, abbeys and historic houses in our care. This funding will help us invest to safeguard the historic fabric of these much-loved places, which everyone can learn from and enjoy.”
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