Severn Valley Railway receives £250,000 of National Lottery support

The Severn Valley Railway has received £250,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help it survive in the immediate future as it prepares to reopen in August.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown began in March, the railway has been mothballed with the majority of paid staff put on furlough. As a result, it has not been able to generate any passenger revenue throughout this time, and could face a loss of up to £6 million this year.

However, with the recent announcement of its reopening to the public from Saturday 1st August and the welcome news of National Lottery funding, the future is looking more positive as the General Manager of SVR (Holdings) Plc, Helen Smith, explained:

“Thanks to the National Lottery and its players we can now get the SVR through the next few months. We will use this funding to pay our staff, as they come back from furlough to prepare the railway for reopening.

“We will also invest in new IT so that more staff can work remotely. These measures will ensure we can start to generate some much-needed passenger revenue to offset the potential losses we are facing.

“We’re grateful that The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting us at this crucial time – it’s a lifeline to us and others who are passionate about sustaining heritage for the benefit of all. We submitted our application for funding with the support of the SVR Charitable Trust and the SVR Company Limited, and are especially grateful that The National Lottery has granted us the maximum amount possible under this emergency scheme.

“This funding is additional to more than £750,000 that we’ve raised through our own fundraising appeal - the Fight Back Fund - thanks to generous donations from the public, along with purchases of SVR shares.”

This new 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 Severn Valley Railway during this uncertain time.”

Like the SVR, 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 spans 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.

Tickets for travel on the Severn Valley Railway from 1st August are now on sale at <a></a> or phone 01562 757900.


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