Two heritage railways given £550,000 to help them survive Covid

North Norfolk Railway is to receive £360,000 from the government's scheme. Photo: Ian Burt

North Norfolk Railway is to receive £360,000 from the government's scheme. Photo: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Two of Norfolk’s heritage railways are to share £550,000 to help them survive the impact which coronavirus has had on them.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Images

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Images - Credit: PA

The North Norfolk Railway and The Mid-Norfolk Railway are among almost 450 organisations awarded money from government to help them keep running in a year where the pandemic has hit heritage organisations hard.

The North Norfolk Railway, which runs steam trains from Sheringham to Holt, has been awarded £360,000 and the Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust will get £190,500.

The Mid-Norfolk Railway runs from Dereham to Wymondham and has been restoring the northwards line to North Elmham and County School.

The funding comes from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund - funded by the government and administered at arms length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.


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Both funds are part of the government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund, designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.

Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust has been awarded £140,000 and English Heritage cited Grimes Graves as one of the sites which would be helped by the money that organisation is getting.

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Grants are for between £10,000 and £1m with a further round of grants of up to £3m due to be announced soon.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past.

“This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and help us prepare for a cultural bounceback post Covid-19.”

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s chief executive said: “It is heartening to see grants, both large and small, from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund helping heritage sites and organisations across the country which have been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19.

“These grants range from giving skilled craft workers the chance to keep their trades alive to helping heritage organisations pay the bills, and to kick-starting repair works at our best-loved historic sites.

“The funding is an essential lifeline for our heritage and the people who work tirelessly to conserve it for us all, so that we can hand it on to future generations.”

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