The East Lancashire Railway has announced that they have received a £100,000 grant from the second round of grants from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.
The railway says that the grant has come after two lockdowns have left them ‘fighting for its future’.
With no income from the lockdowns, the railway has faced a six-figure loss in 2020 and faces a 50% shortfall in revenue in 2021.
However, the railway welcomed back passengers on the 1st of May, and this grant will help the railway to contemplate a brighter future.
East Lancashire Railway Chairman Mike Kelly said: “Visitors are truly the lifeblood of this railway and we have missed welcoming them to all our popular events and galas. Their absence for much of the past year has had a devastating impact on our finances. At times it’s been difficult to see how we would be able to re-open.”
“That’s why we’re so incredibly grateful for this latest financial award from the Culture Recovery Fund For Heritage. Their assistance throughout the past twelve months has played a critical role in our survival.”
“We also remain indebted to the support we have received from other organisations as well as the incredible generosity of those who have contributed to our own fundraising initiatives. Re-opening the railway is a fitting tribute to the dogged determination of our volunteers and staff and allows us to continue providing a timeless experience for our hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.”
Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Spring is definitely here, bringing not only sunshine but that sense of optimism and hope for the future.”
“We are all looking forward to heritage organisations and other visitor attractions reopening. I am very pleased that we have been able to support DCMS in delivering this vital funding to ensure the UK’s heritage sector can rebuild and thrive, boosting local economies, creating jobs and supporting personal wellbeing.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.
“Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”
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