Please follow the link for the latest newsletter: Weekly Newsletter 2013-12-04 45
A BID for £10 million that will kick-start the creation of a new world-class railway museum in Leicester has today (29 November) been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Great Central Railway – working in partnership with Leicester City Council and the National Railway Museum in York – plans to open the new attraction at its terminus at Leicester North.
The new museum will be filled with priceless locomotives and other artefacts from the national collection, telling the story of how the railways helped Leicester become a thriving industrial city.
Managing Director of the Great Central Railway Bill Ford said, “This is a visionary project. In the last 12 months the partners have worked hard to prepare today’s funding bid. The museum will help people reconnect with Leicester’s railway story and our shared heritage. Together with our thriving steam line, we’re confident tens of thousands of people will visit every year.”
The new attraction will create 300 short-term construction jobs and 9 full-time posts once open. As part of the bid process an economic impact study has been carried out which demonstrates the museum and railway will be worth £43million for the local economy over five years. In turn this additional spending could create more than 900 jobs in the area.
Annual visitor figures for the railway and museum combined are expected to reach around 230,000. The total cost of the project is expected to be £15 million. £5 million of match funding would be required alongside the lottery grant.
City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to create a heritage railway centre of national standing in Leicester.
“The museum will house items which are of both national importance and local interest, complementing the nearby National Space Centre and Abbey Pumping Station and helping to enhance the city’s reputation as an important visitor destination.
“It will also create hundreds of new jobs, both during construction and on opening, while providing training opportunities in the rail industry for dozens of young people.
“We’re fully committed to this project and will be working with the Great Central Railway to help them deliver this ambitious scheme.”
A striking building is planned to sit right alongside the Great Central Railway’s Leicester North station, close to the Greenacres centre. Uniquely, steam hauled passenger trains will arrive right alongside the exhibition halls giving the displays a vibrant context. With the completion of the separate GCR reunification project, the museum will be a shining jewel of an 18-mile heritage railway. Trains from the national network will also be able to run right to the front door, offering tourists a real alternative gateway to the city.
The museum will be connected to the running lines to allow displays to be changed, locomotives and carriages moved and even operated over the tracks of the Great Central.
The Director of the National Railway Museum is Paul Kirkman. “Leicester had one of the world’s earliest railways,” he said. “It was also a hub of the Midland line. When the GCR opened in 1899 it was a key calling point on the high speed railway of the time. The Great Central Railway museum will see some significant parts of the national collection put on display in the heart of the country and show how the railways changed lives.”
As the bid is submitted the proposed line up of exhibits is being unveiled for the first time. The iconic “Green Arrow” steam locomotive tops the bill. A class V2 engine (designed by the famous engineer Sir Nigel Gresley), this type of locomotive regularly worked along the Great Central Railway before it was closed. The sole surviving GCR passenger engine “Butler Henderson” will also be on display and paired with a wooden ‘Barnum’ carriage. The stylish carriage will be actively restored in front of visitors demonstrating the craft skills necessary to keep Britain’s railway heritage alive.
From the other end of the 20th century comes Britain’s APT-E. It was the first train to tilt which the designers hoped would permit faster journeys along existing lines. While the project was ultimately abandoned, the surviving vehicles are an intriguing glimpse of a lost future and are set to capture the imagination of a new generation. In addition locomotives and wagons which kept freight on the move will be displayed.
As part of the bid a full programme of educational activities has been devised so the attraction engages with families, the local community and schools. Bill Ford concluded, “We already welcome visitors from around the county and country but the museum will help us achieve so much more for Leicestershire. It will be a busy museum telling relevant stories, which are interpreted in the ultimate way, with a ride on a steam train! We hope the whole city will get behind the bid.”
The project partners will learn if they’ve been successful in April 2014. Initially a small grant will be released allowing the plans to be developed further. A successful second round application would see the full grant unlocked with the museum expected to be open around Summer 2018.
Read more about the GCR museum lottery bid
More about the bid as reported on the BBC website for Leicester
More about the bid as reported on the Leicester Mercury website.
For the latest newsletter please follow the link: Weekly Newsletter 2013-11-27 44
The Great Central Railway’s ‘Bridge to the Future’ appeal has moved up to two hundred and eighty thousand pounds with money still coming in.
The railway has set a target of raising one million pounds by mid 2015 to pay for a brand new railway bridge over the Midland Main Line at Loughborough. In turn this unlocks a long held ambition to reconnect two separate halves of the Great Central, creating one eighteen mile long heritage railway between Leicester and the south of Nottingham.
Meanwhile, so of the Network Rail team who will supervise the construction of the bridge have visited the site, with a physical start on construction expected soon. Grateful thanks are due to the Edith Murphy Foundation who have given a grant of £15,000 to the appeal.
Network Rail will run the project to build the new bridge. The substantial structure will carry GCR trains above the four tracks of the Midland Main Line and the modern express trains running at more than 100mph.
Bill Ford, Managing Director of the Great Central Railway plc said,
“On behalf of everyone from the Great Central Railway – and the Great Central Railway Nottingham,thank you to all the generous people who have donated.
There is a long way to go to reach our million pound target by 2015 but as soon as we have more news we will pass it on – to encourage further donations! It is very humbling to have so many people from right across the country getting behind the campaign.”
If you haven’t donated yet, please consider giving to the appeal. Everything you contribute moves the total on towards the one million pound target. If you can make the gift aid declaration, the government will add a further 25% to your donation.
Don’t forget – a great way to support the appeal is to buy a Swithland Gala DVD. Available now for £25 with every penny going to the Bridge appeal.The ideal stocking filler for the enthusiast in your life. To order send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking to buy a present for friends and family that love coming to the Great Central Railway? Our gift vouchers can be redeemed against travel, dining services and in the shop, we also send them out with FREE P&P!
Treat your loved ones to a gift voucher this Christmas!
Please follow the link for the latest newsletter: Weekly Newsletter 2013-11-20 43
Exclusive Limited Edition Subscriber Book! Pre-order the book and your name will be added to the list of names that will be printed inside the book.
Dust jacketed hardback 238 x 172mm, 128 pages with over 200 colour and monochrome illustrations.
The expected delivery for this book is early February 2014. The cost is £30.00 plus £3 P&P (Please make cheques payable to Great Central Railway)
Order your copy by calling the Booking Office (01509 632323) or by post by filing out the form here and posting it back to us.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO INCLUDE YOUR NAME AS YOU WOULD LIKE IT TO APPEAR IN THE BOOK
Closing date for orders is Friday 30th November 2013
It’s a steam dream and the final fling of the year! We’re putting four steam locos through their paces this weekend – there’s over 30 movements each day in and out of Loughborough alone! Don’t miss a cracking end to the year! Please visit the event page for more information.