Culture Recovery Fund grant of £231,000

Keighley & Worth Valley Railway receives lifeline grant of £231,000 from Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

The Railway has been successful in its application to the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund and has received £231,000 from the fund. This money will help towards the overhead costs such as utility bills and rent from November to the end of March 2021.

The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a lifesaving financial boost from the government thanks to the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. 445 organisations will share £103 million, including the Railway, to help restart vital reconstruction work and maintenance on cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector.

Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund


This vital funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund – funded by Government and administered at arms length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Both funds are part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.

433 organisations will receive a share of £67 million from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage to help with costs for operating, reopening and recovery. This includes famous heritage sites across the country, from Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire to Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, Blyth Tall Ship to the Severn Valley Railway, the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincolnshire to the Piecehall in Halifax. The funds will save sites that are a source of pride for communities across the country.

12 organisations, including English Heritage, Landmark Trust, Historic Royal Palaces and the Canal and River Trust, will receive £34 million from the Heritage Stimulus Fund to restart construction and maintenance on cherished heritage sites to preserve visitor attractions and protect livelihoods for some of the most vulnerable heritage specialists and contractors in the sector.

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) has also been awarded a grant from the Culture Recovery Fund through Historic England. The AHF will use the funding to support charities and social enterprises occupying historic buildings to develop new business plans and strategies for organisations affected by the pandemic.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden said:

“As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past. This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounceback post covid.”

David Pearson, Fundraising Co-ordinator, KWVR

David Pearson, Fundraising Co-ordinator, The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Preservation Society, said:

“The Railway has been an important part of our landscape since 1867. It was saved from permanent closure in 1968 by a team of dedicated volunteers.

Like many other heritage organisations, 2020 has been a very difficult due to the Covid-19 crisis, and our volunteers have been working extremely hard to safeguard our future once again.

During the pandemic we had generous support from the public, and received smaller tranches of funding from other grants, however, we’re delighted to have been awarded £231,000 from the Culture Recovery Fund. This will help us to continue running heritage steam trains through the next six unpredictable months. We’re extremely grateful to the Government for this support”

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s Chief Executive said:

“It is heartening to see grants, both large and small, from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund helping heritage sites and organisations across the country which have been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19. These grants range from giving skilled craft workers the chance to keep their trades alive to helping heritage organisations pay the bills, and to kick-starting repair works at our best-loved historic sites. The funding is an essential lifeline for our heritage and the people who work tirelessly to conserve it for us all, so that we can hand it on to future generations.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund said:

“It is absolutely right that investing in heritage should be a priority during this crisis and this support by Government is crucial.  Heritage creates jobs and economic prosperity, is a major driver for tourism and makes our towns, cities, and rural areas better places to live.  All of this is so important for our wellbeing and will be particularly vital when we start to emerge from this incredibly difficult time.

Our heritage is still facing a perilous future – we are not out of the woods yet.  But this hugely welcome funding from Government, and the money we continue to invest from the National Lottery, has undoubtedly stopped heritage and the organisations that care for it being permanently lost.”

KWVR ‘Back in Steam’ Services

Round trips in a private family compartment depart from Oxenhope and Keighley every weekend, and during October half-term.

Advanced booking is essential – follow the link below for more information

'Back in Steam' passenger services on the KWVR