Severn Valley Railway receives £250,000 funding boost ahead of reopening

Severn Valley Railway has received £250,000 of National Lottery funding to help address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Severn Valley Railway
Severn Valley Railway

Since lockdown was introduced in March, the railway has operating on a care and maintenance basis only, with the majority of paid staff put on furlough.

As a result, it has not been able to generate any passenger revenue throughout this time, and could face a loss of up to £6 million this year.

However, with the recent announcement of its reopening to the public from August and the welcome news of additional funding, general manager Helen Smith said the future is looking brighter.

“Thanks to the National Lottery and its players we can now get the SVR through the next few months," said Helen.

"We will use this funding to pay our staff, as they come back from furlough to prepare the railway for reopening.

"We will also invest in new IT so that more staff can work remotely. These measures will ensure we can start to generate some much-needed passenger revenue to offset the potential losses we are facing.

“We’re grateful that The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting us at this crucial time – it’s a lifeline to us and others who are passionate about sustaining heritage for the benefit of all.

"We submitted our application for funding with the support of the SVR Charitable Trust and the SVR Company Limited, and are especially grateful that The National Lottery has granted us the maximum amount possible under this emergency scheme.

“This funding is additional to more than £750,000 that we’ve raised through our own fundraising appeal, the Fight Back Fund, thanks to generous donations from the public, along with purchases of SVR shares.”

Ros Kerslake, chief executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefitting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis.

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as the Severn Valley Railway during this uncertain time.”

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