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Great Central Railway receives £515,700 from the Culture Recovery Fund

Great Central Railway to receive £515,700 from the second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

  • GCR are among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund 
  • This award will hugely assist the Railway to recover from the devastating impact of Covid closures and ongoing restrictions

 

The Great Central Railway has received a grant of £515,700 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.

Nearly £400 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including GCR in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.

The grant, covering the period from April to June 2021, will support the organisation with the costs it faces as it starts to welcome back visitors and makes the transition towards full re-opening

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

This brings the Government's total investment across grants, capital and repayable finance from the Culture Recovery Fund so far to more than £1.2 billion across over 5,000 individual cultural and heritage organisations and sites.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:

“Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced.

Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors - helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead."

 

Michael Gough, the Great Central Railway PLC’s Managing Director, said: 

“I cannot emphasise enough how much of a shot in the arm this is for us at such an incredibly difficult time. 

Whilst we have successfully navigated the crisis thus far, the impact of Covid-19 has dealt the Railway a £3 million income-reduction-blow in the last 12 months and this grant will significantly assist in the funding of actions we need to carry out to re-open Covid-secure and in-line with government guidance. 

It will support us in the complex process of transitioning from months of lockdown and significant restriction and to return to the previous sustainable business model of welcoming over 110,000 visitors each year through our doors”

 

Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: 

“Spring is definitely here, bringing not only sunshine but that sense of optimism and hope for the future. We are all looking forward to heritage places and other visitor attractions reopening and I am very pleased that we have been able to support DCMS in delivering this vital funding to ensure the UK’s heritage sector can rebuild and thrive, boosting local economies, creating jobs and supporting personal wellbeing.” 

 

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: 

“The value of our heritage sites and the people who run them has been amply demonstrated, as they have provided an anchor for so many of us through the dark days of the last year. Vital grants from the Culture Recovery Fund have helped them survive and will now help them recover, as the places we all cherish start to reopen in the months ahead.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England as well as the British Film Institute and Arts Council England.

 

Heritage Emergency Fund Announcement – 22nd October 2020

The Directors and Management of The Great Central Railway are delighted to announce that The National Lottery Heritage Fund have awarded £250,000 of support to the Railway from the Heritage Emergency Fund, which was set up to assist heritage organizations at risk due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Speaking about the news, GCR’s Managing Director, Michael Gough said “This is a huge relief to all of our management, staff and volunteers and comes at a point when the Railway is going through an incredibly difficult and stressful time in navigating the impact of the Covid crisis. Despite the fact that significant hard work has gone into operational recovery with many services now running again, much of what we are able to do to generate essential income is  severely hampered by restrictions, reductions in capacity and significantly increased costs and we are so grateful that The National Lottery Heritage Fund has agreed to help us with our recovery at this crucial time."

Anne Jenkins, Director, England, Midlands & East at 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 Great Central Railway during this uncertain time.

 

British Railways Standard Class 9F 92214 steams through the Leicestershire countryside, with National Lottery Heritage Fund logo included.

Great Central Railway AGM

Notice is hereby given that the Company's annual general meeting will be held at Lovatt House, Loughborough on the 24th October 2020 at 10 a.m.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic (and having taken the advice of our auditors) with the need to conduct our business safely, this meeting will be held by the Directors behind closed doors.  We will be unable to allow entry to any other persons, due to the overriding need to protect everyone, and the sheer impracticality of holding a Covid-safe meeting for a large number of individuals.

Arrangements are being made to issue the formal notices of the meeting to shareholders in the usual manner. This will include the normal proxy form enabling shareholders to vote on the formal resolutions.

GCR board welcomes new director…

Great Central Railway PLC announces the appointment of The Rt. Honourable, The Baroness Morgan as a director.

Nicky Morgan, now appointed to the GCR PLC board, cutting the first sod as construction began on our bridge across the Midland Main Line .
Photo by Graham Wignall.

The Board of Great Central Railway are delighted to announce the appointment of The Rt. Hon the Baroness Morgan of Cotes (Nicky Morgan) to the GCR Board as a non-executive director.

Baroness Morgan, formerly Loughborough’s Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and now a Member of the House of Lords has already been a strong supporter and friend to the Railway for many years. She will take up the directorship from 1st June.

Commenting on the news, GCR’s Managing Director, Michael Gough said; “I am so very proud that Nicky has accepted this position – she will bring an entire new level of advice and gravitas to our corporate governance. As the Railway grows in popularity and strength, it will be so useful to have her massive experience and knowledge to hand”

Nicky said “I am very excited to be joining the GCR Board. The GCR has a very special place in the hearts of Leicestershire residents and beyond. I’ve worked with and enjoyed the Railway as their MP, as the founding Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Heritage Rail and also as an enthusiastic GCR local member for over 15 years now. I look forward to supporting the Railway’s exciting future and working with all GCR employees and volunteers.”

Test trains – Sunday 31st May

We are running some further test trains on Sunday of this weekend (31st May) and will open up the car park field adjacent to Quorn station for those who want to get a “steam fix” and photographic opportunities of one of the first heritage railways to run trains since lockdown.

As it stands, Standard Class 2 locomotive 78018 will be in traffic but this is subject to change as circumstances dictate. There is a strong chance that we will also be running some tests and equipment movements involving our diesel Class 37 during the course of the same day, albeit again subject to confirmation.

There will be no access to platforms and the cafés will not be able to open.

Approximate departure times from Loughborough are 13.00; 14.30 and 16.00.

We also suggest that to maintain social distancing, people remain in their cars to watch the trains, although if you decide to step outside, please ensure that you are at least 2 metres away from anyone who is not from your immediate household

Annual General Meetings – Postponed

The Great Central Railway Annual General Meeting scheduled for the 4th July 2020 has been postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis. Even allowing for the fact that we are hopeful that social distancing regulations will have been relaxed by then, our auditors are currently closed due to the crisis and have confirmed to us this week that it will be impossible to complete audited accounts in time for the AGM to proceed. A new date will be announced as soon as the Railway and auditors are able to return to normal working.

Under advice from our auditors we have applied for and been granted the government’s 3 month filing extension and thus a new AGM date is likely to be late September or early October.

Weekend Shed Tours Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 March

Volunteer members of the Boscastle team will be offering informative tours of the Loughborough Locomotive Shed on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 March.

The tours will be at:

  11 00, 11 45, 12 45, 13 30, 14 15, 15 30 and 16 15.

Party size is limited at the discretion of the guide.

Please assemble outside the loco shed door and await guide.

Tours last approximately half an hour; please allow 10 minutes to walk to the shed prior to the tour and 10 minutes to walk back again.

 

Loco Shed Scene - Dennis Wilcock

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.

All locomotives and attractions appear subject to availability. Great Central Railway reserves the right to amend or cancel any service.

7027 “Thornbury Castle” coming to GCR

GWR ‘4073’ CLASS “THORNBURY CASTLE” TO BE RESTORED AND BASED AT THE GREAT CENTRAL RAILWAY

GWR 4073 Class number 7027 “Thornbury Castle” has been sold to a private buyer, the present owners JJP Holdings have announced today. Under the sale and purchase agreement, the Great Western locomotive is to be restored at the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire and will run there for the duration of its next 10-year ticket.

The new owner, who is a significant supporter of the GCR, has confirmed that it will not be made available for any mainline operation. It requires significant restoration which will be carried out at the Great Central’s locomotive works in Loughborough under the watchful eye of their Chief Engineer, Craig Stinchcombe.

The loco, currently housed at the West Somerset Railway’s Williton depot, will be transported by road to Loughborough during week commencing 27th January.

Built in 1949 by British Railways at the Swindon works, N0. 7027 was initially allocated to Plymouth Laira before moving to Old Oak Common some 10 years later, with its last shed allocation being Reading before being withdrawn from service in 1963 and being transported to Woodham Brothers Scrapyard at Barry. It was purchased by the Birmingham Railway Museum and left Barry in 1972. Subsequent to this it was purchased by the Waterman Railway Heritage Trust and remained in scrapyard condition for stays at Crewe Heritage Centre and Peak Rail until being purchased by the current owners in July 2016

Jonathan Jones-Pratt (JJP) said, “We are obviously sad in many ways to lose this iconic engine from the Group but, at the same time, very pleased as I always wish to see the right decision being made for these wonderful engines.   For me, this is a good move for Thornbury and we have been pleased to play a key part in ensuring the engine is restored as a Castle and we are satisfied that there is the right commitment to rebuild the engine to the right standard.  We wish the Great Central team well with the project and, personally, I welcome the chance to help them along the journey.   The engine will now leave the WSR over the coming weeks for her new home where I am sure the team will be waiting to get started!

GCR’s Managing Director, Michael Gough commented “We are very excited that this iconic locomotive is coming to the GCR and very proud that the new owner has chosen to have it restored in our works and for it to run here at the Great Central once completed. This is a major project and will involve significant hours and expense but we are ready for the challenge and looking forward to its arrival next week.

Eric Boulter

We are very sorry to report the passing of Eric Boulter who passed away on Sunday after a long period of illness.

Eric will be fondly remembered for his years of service on the Griddle Car, with his customary shouts of "plates are hot" as he served many a satisfied customer their all-day breakfast.

Eric was a well respected member of the GCR family and will be sorely missed.

We will publish details of Eric's funeral arrangements when these are known.

FoGCML 2020 Calendar

Our next running day

Passenger trains have now returned to the GCR, running every Saturday and Sunday, and on selected weekdays.

Pre-booking is required at present, to ensure social distancing onboard trains.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the railway as we progressively return to normal operation, as the national situation improves.

Our appeals

Reunification appeal - Reuniting the two halves of the Great Central Railway

Locomotive Shed Appeal
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