Leicestershire County Council has announced an investment of £250,000 in one million shares in GCR plc. This gives a major boost to the Reunification project part of which is to Bridge the Gap across the Midland Main Line and to the new museum to be built at Leicester North.
The Press Release from the Council reads:
(a) That the County Council continues to work in collaboration with the Great Central Railway (GCR) and other partners on highways and supporting infrastructure in order to facilitate the expansion of the GCR and maximise the resultant benefits for the local economy;
(b) That £250,000 be allocated from the Council’s Economic Development earmarked funds to purchase one million shares in the Great Central Railway Plc.;
(c) That surplus track and lineside infrastructure from the site of the former Snibston Discovery Museum be donated to GCR for use in the Heritage Railway Museum.
REASONS FOR DECISION:
Loughborough is identified as a priority Growth Area within Leicester and Leicestershire’s Strategic Economic Plan, and supporting its wider growth is therefore a priority for the Council.
The County Council is working in partnership with GCR, Charnwood Borough Council and Leicester City Council to overcome associated structural, land and highway issues which will ultimately unlock the expansion of the site. When delivered, this major infrastructure development could double the annual visitor numbers to the surrounding area, provide increased employment opportunities (direct and indirect) and help to initiate the wider regeneration of East Loughborough Industrial Heritage Quarter.
The purchase of shares in GCR will help secure the successful implementation of the expansion proposals, in particular the ‘Bridging the Gap’ project, reaffirming the site as one of Leicestershire’s unique and leading tourism attractions. It will also position all three local authorities (the County, City and Borough Councils) as comparable shareholders in the site.
Bill Ford, the GCR’s Managing Director said “The news of the further support from LCC on both our museum and Gap projects is very exciting. It now means that we have all 3 councils very much in support of our future growth allied to the bridging the gap and museum concepts. With a partnership of the NRM in York and the ongoing support of the Science museum in London, we are on course to produce one of the most spectacular railway preservation projects anywhere in the world.
The East Midlands is not generally associated with tourism, but with excellent motorway, rail and air connections our being centrally placed brings in huge advantages to a relatively underdeveloped part of the UK.
We have transformed the financial base of GCR Plc in the last 9 years and are achieving the goals set at that stage.”
Volunteer members of the Boscastle team will be offering informative tours of the Loughborough Locomotive Shed (not normally open to visitors) on Saturday, 9 July and Sunday 10 July.
Tour times are at: 10.30, 11.00, 11.30 am & 12.00; 12.30, 1.30, 2.30, 3.15 & 3.45 pm
Party size is limited to 12, with only one group in the shed at any one time.
Tour lasts half an hour: please allow 10 mins. to walk to the shed prior to the tour and 10 mins. to walk back again.
YOUR CHANCE TO SEE RESTORATION, OVERHAUL AND REPAIR WORK IN PROGRESS AND HEAR ABOUT THE PLACE OF ‘BOSCASTLE’ IN THE STORY OF THE GREAT CENTRAL RAILWAY.
There is no charge for the tour, but donations towards the overhaul of Rebuilt ‘West Country’ Class 4-6-2 no. 34039 Boscastle will be much appreciated – especially in view of the major work needed on the firebox.
PLEASE NOTE: Visitors are required to be in possession of valid GCR travel tickets or platform tickets. Tours are not suitable for children under 6, or for pushchairs.
The Great Central Railway PLC’s annual general meeting will be held at Lovatt House, 3 Wharncliffe Road, Loughborough, Leics., LE11 1SL on Saturday 25th June 2016 at 10.30am (doors open from 10am)
The Bridge to the Future web page has now been updated. It will carry all the latest news in relation to the project to re-unify the two halves of the Great Central Railway to create a 18 mile intercity steam operated heritage railway between the outskirts of Leicester and the outskirts of Nottingham.
You can access the pages through the Bridge to the Future logo on the GCR home page
Our rail holiday partner, Railtrail Tours, have recently been awarded the 2015 British Travel Awards silver award in the category ‘Best Rail Holidays Company’
Amongst their extensive programme of escorted rail holidays of the UK and Europe this one may be of particular interest to you as it includes our Model Railway event in June and much more! When booking any Railtrail Tour please state you saw the tour advertised at the Great Central Railway as the ‘Bridge Fund’ receives a welcome donation boost.
Thursday 16th June 2016 – 5 days – Fares from £499
A brilliant Steam, Rail & Ale tour timed to coincide with the huge Great Central Model Railway event plus steam on the Great Central North. Add in a private steam passenger and photo freight charter on the Foxfield Railway plus Marston’s Heritage brewery, the much loved Titanic brewery and a visit to England’s oldest inn, dating from 1189!
- Great Central Day Rover pass
- Admission to the GCR Model event at Quorn
- Steam on GCR – Nottingham
- Heritage bus rides
- Tour of Marston’s brewery
- Private passenger steam charter Foxfield Railway
- Private photo steam charter of mineral train
- Visit to Titanic brewery and taster
- Farewell drink at ‘Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem’
The tour is based at the former Midland Railway Hotel in Derby and includes Half Board, rail travel from any station in the UK, and all excursions
The full tour programme can be viewed at www.railtrail.co.uk
Copies of the 2016 Classic UK & European tours brochure are available at all stations. Whilst the Steam, Rail & Ale tours can be viewed on their website