Great Central Railway awarded £250,000!

Posted by Chris Graham on 15th January 2021

Great Central Railway

BR Standard Class 7 No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell is seen on a service train, while BR Standard 9F No. 92214, carrying the name Leicester City, waits to bring out the dining train stock on March 25th, 2018, at the Great Central Railway. (Pic: Joe Connell)

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded £250,000 of support to the Great Central Railway. The money has been drawn from the Heritage Emergency Fund, which was set up to assist heritage organisations that have found themselves at risk due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking about the news, the 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 as it continues to navigate 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 the railway is able to do to generate essential income, remains severely hampered by restrictions, reductions in capacity and significantly increased costs. Consequently, we are so grateful that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has agreed to help us with our recovery at this crucial time.

LMS Ivatt Class 2 No. 46521 crosses Swithland Reservoir at sunset, on the Great Central Railway. (Pic: GCR)

• Some readers may have noticed press articles surrounding the suspension of trains at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham), until Easter 2021. Well, Great Central Railway PLC (based in Leicestershire and running from Loughborough to Leicester South), wishes it to be known that it has absolutely no operational, legal or commercial association with its Nottinghamshire namesake, and isn’t – in any way – affected by the issues described elsewhere.

Great Central Railway (Leicestershire) re-opened its railway in early July, following lockdown. Michael Gough explained: “It’s highly frustrating that, to the casual observer, we end up being linked by some people with GCR Nottingham. We share part of our name but that’s it; there is no other company or commercial link, whatsoever. While we sympathise with the plight of any heritage railway, we must act in our own best interests, and we’ll be working hard over the coming days to take steps to protect our trademark, and ensure there’s no further confusion.

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