As the Mid-Norfolk Railway prepares to reopen for public passenger services on 3 July, the railway has received a £200,900 grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage.
This grant is the first tranche of the £401,800 funding for the Mid Norfolk Railway that was announced on the 2 April by Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, as part of the second round of grants awarded by the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage. The grant is designed to help the railway rebuild its finances.
The MNR understands the second tranche of money allocated to the railway could be transferred at some point next month.
“On behalf of the railway we are extremely grateful to receive this Government funding. Our allocation is based on loss of income from the period of time we have been closed due to Covid. The income we normally generate is essential for the ongoing maintenance of the railway and as such these funds will go some way to replacing that lost income and will therefore in turn allow the railway to conduct the essential works that we need to carry out to ensure we can operate a safe railway for our passengers.” Charlie Robinson Chairman of the Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust
“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.” Oliver Dowden Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
“As one of the longest heritage railways in the country and the longest in East Anglia, we have a very real challenge to maintain our track and all the associated infrastructure to the safe standards our passengers and other rail users quite rightly expect and we do achieve. “We must do this before we even think about expanding and developing the railway. This government grant is therefore essential, as it is helping to replace part of our lost income and so we can fund the essential work we need to do to be able to reopen to the public at the start of July.” George Saville General Manager of the Mid-Norfolk Railway
The MNR’s grant is part of £44 million that The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England have allocate to historic sites across England. The funding has gone to over 470 organisations and is designed to support heritage organisations recover from the impacts of coronavirus.
“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.” Ros Kerslake CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund