Today Mark was joined by Nigel Huddleston MP, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage where they announced that Severn Valley Railway will receive £906,000 to ensure our local heritage is protected throughout the Coronavirus pandemic and long into the future.
The Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage is part of the £1.57 billion rescue package announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to safeguard cultural and heritage organisations across the UK from the economic impact of COVID-19.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England have worked together to ensure that this significant investment from Government reaches the organisations most in need. This is the first tranche of funding for heritage, covering grants of up to £1 million - managed jointly by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Severn Valley Railway are a hugely important heritage business here in Wyre Forest. Severn Valley Railway travels between Kidderminster and Bridgenorth, Shropshire, a distance of 16 miles. It is the largest heritage railway in the country and hosts up to 250,000 passengers a year.
Every year 10 million people visit a heritage railway, and it has been estimated that heritage railways are worth about £250 million to the UK economy. In this valuable industry, it is vital that community railways innovate their offering in order to prosper into the future.
Mark, who is a keen heritage railway enthusiast said:
“The Severn Valley Railway is one of Wyre Forest’s main tourist attractions and is a significant income generator for our district. The management team and volunteers have worked incredibly hard throughout the pandemic to get the railway back up and running in a safe manner.”
“This significant Government investment shows just how vital our heritage institutions are, and it will go a long way to ensuring this business survives and grows into the future. As this is one of the country’s greatest tourist attractions, I would encourage everyone to get out and about and visit the railway, ensuring this brilliant business thrives.”