The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways has secured a £3.1m investment from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
£3,144,000 will help boost plans to attract more visitors to the narrow gauge railway, which is North Wales’ largest tourist attraction.
The money will also help fund restoration and conservation of buildings along the line including the oldest workshop in continuous operation, Boston Lodge.
Supporters are also providing another £900,000 of matched funding and should help attract 250,000 visitors to the railway annually.
Andrew White, Director of The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, this £3.1 million investment will allow the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways – a truly world-class, high quality attraction, to provide work and training opportunities for the local community and boost the economy of north west Wales by bringing an additional 50,000 visitors to the area every year.
“As well as the many economic and employment benefits of the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways, this project which centres on the Boston Lodge works is a great example of how heritage can help us understand who we are and where we come from and how the communities we are part of have been shaped by the past by bringing history to life.”
Commenting on the Boston Lodge Works project, Paul Lewin – Director and General Manager of the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highlands Railway said: “We are a Welsh railway and our history is intertwined for 200 years with the local community. We want to build on those existing links so that the local community can have pride in and be involved in the heritage of the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways and Boston Lodge.
“Through our project, we want to capture our stories and make sure they’re shared with future generations and that we continue to play our part in the economy and success of north Wales.
“Our railway has survived by adapting and embracing technology and thanks to this investment from The National Lottery Heritage Fund we will do that again now to make sure that we offer a high quality tourism experience that brings real benefit to the North Wales economy.”
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