The Swanage Railway has announced that it has been awarded a grant worth £189,200 as part of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund to help the transition back to reopening after being closed for three months.
The Fund is part of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is administered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Staff costs, locomotive hire, coal, water and diesel fuel will all be paid for by the new grant.
Randy Coldham, the Swanage Railway’s fund-raising chairman, said: “I would like to thank the National Lottery for its support over the past year as, without it, the Swanage Railway would not be able to resume a Covid-safe train service from Monday, 12 April, 2021.
“The grant is vital in helping the Swanage Railway on its road to recovery – providing a Covid-safe service to the people of the Isle of Purbeck and to the many visitors we expect this summer,” added Randy who is also a volunteer signalman on the Swanage Railway.
Due to the grant only applying to daily operational costs, the grant does not contribute to the Herston Carriage Shed Appeal, which is still looking for £65,000 by the end of June 2021.
Randy explained: “This is a vital project that will enable the Swanage Railway to protect some of its rare heritage coaches from the weather and so reduce our repair costs.
“We have been overwhelmed and very gratified by the support we have had for the Herston Carriage Shed Appeal and have already raised almost a quarter of the £65,000 required.”
The Swanage Railway has joined the Churnet Valley Railway amongst other railways in announcing similar grants.
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