The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway has received £50,000 National Lottery support to help address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on heritage railways
The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway has received £50,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to enable the Railway to complete the replacement of a 115-year-old bridge, work on which was halted at the outbreak of the pandemic.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic began the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway has been completely closed, and during lockdown activities were limited to essential maintenance and security tasks. The Railway has had no income from passengers since the last trains ran in mid-March.
Dr Matt Stroh, Chairman of the Keighley & Worth Valley said: “Thanks to the National Lottery and its players we can now complete the work necessary to replace the venerable 115-year old bridge and will then be in a position to reopen the railway to passengers.
Without their support, we would have struggled to meet the additional costs caused by having to pause and then recommence the work at a time when we have had no income from operations for over three months. We are so very grateful that The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting us at this crucial time, especially as they were able to process the application and provide the funds in such a timely manner – it is a lifeline to us and others who are passionate about sustaining heritage for the benefit of all. As a result of their funding, we can look forward to reopening the Railway to passengers, currently planned for mid-August , albeit with continued restrictions to protect the safety of our volunteers and visitors.”
The funding, made possible by National Lottery players, was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund. £50million has been made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector.
The UK-wide fund will address both immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.
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 benefiting 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 Keighley & Worth Valley Railway during this uncertain time.”
Like the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, other charities and organisations across the UK that have been affected by the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak are being given access to a comprehensive package of support of up to £600 million of repurposed money from The National Lottery. This money is supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and span the arts, community, charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors. Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, including heritage of local and national importance. By playing The National Lottery, people up and down the country are making an amazing contribution to the nationwide-response to combatting the impact of COVID-19 on local communities across the UK.