East Lancs Railway receive fresh support boost with £60,000 grant
The East Lancashire Railway has received a fresh boost to support its ongoing recovery from the impact of Covid – with a new grant worth over £60,000.
Awarded by the Julia And Hans Rausing Trust, the funds will be used to offset the unexpected costs associated with the outbreak.
The first national lockdown forced the heritage attraction in Bury to cease all operations between March and August - depriving it of vital visitor income and plunging its future into uncertainty.
During closure it faced increased security costs, while the process of re-opening and making the railway Covid-secure also proved a significant financial outlay.
The total grant of £62,251 will be used to offset this expenditure.
The grant comes as the ELR has been forced to adapt its operating procedures again in response to Lancashire moving into Tier 3, with Rawtenstall Station and the Buffer Stops pub both having to close for the time being.
ELR chairman Mike Kelly said: “Thanks to the Julia And Hans Rausing Trust’s Charity Survival Fund we can continue to move forwards in our fight to keep ELR operational.
“As a charitable organisation we were faced with the very real prospect of not being able to reopen at all.
“But thanks to the incredible support of organisations including the Julia And Hans Rausing Trust, alongside the tireless dedication of our volunteers and supporters from around the world, we have been able to make steps to weather this storm.
“We’re committed to ensuring the safety of everyone who enjoys our wonderful railway, so have dedicated significant resources to making it Covid-secure.
“These vital funds will help us offset those costs and allow us to continue to adapt to keep the railway running for visitors of all ages to enjoy.”
The Julia And Hans Rausing Trust’s Charity Survival Fund was established in July to help charities in need due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
To date a total of 329 charities have received support totalling £18 million.
The latest win comes after the ELR received £194,300 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
And it follows the launch of the East Lancashire Railway Support Fund that has so far received donations of £145,000.
To view the ELR current timetable and book tickets visit: eastlancsrailway.org.uk.