An historic North West heritage railway combating for its survival from the devastating affect of Covid has obtained a “important” money enhance to assist shield its future.
The East Lancashire Railway, which runs between Larger Manchester and Rawtenstall in Lancashire, has obtained an interest-free mortgage from the ELR Belief to assist it survive the rest of the “difficult winter interval” – additionally offering ethical assist for its employees and volunteers.
The ELR Belief is a charity made up of 4 teams of trustees together with the three native authorities the railway runs via – Bury, Rochdale and Rossendale – and has been overseeing the event of the attraction for over 30 years.
The railway turned to the ELR Belief – which owns the land and leases the railway line to the ELR – for assist after lockdown measures resulted in cancelled companies and occasions which have meant it has been closed since November.
East Lancashire Railway chairman Mike Kelly mentioned: “We’re extremely happy with the timeless expertise the ELR offers for lots of of 1000’s of tourists a yr – because of our devoted employees and volunteers.
“Nevertheless, the coronavirus pandemic has compelled us into an especially difficult monetary state of affairs as successive lockdowns and tier restrictions have taken their toll and disadvantaged us of essential customer earnings.
“Restrictions additionally meant we have been unable to run our Santa Particular trains, an enormously well-liked occasion, which was extraordinarily disappointing, and with out this earnings we have been diminished to dealing with the prospect of chapter.
“As we enter 2021, with no certainty on once we can reopen, important monetary challenges nonetheless persist.
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“And so we’re extremely grateful for the assist from the ELR Belief and this treasured lifeline of a well timed and beneficiant £300,000 mortgage, which supplies hope for the longer term.”
The railway was unable to run its Santa Specials in December as a consequence of native coronavirus restrictions – depriving it of its “most vital” supply of earnings of the yr.
Brian Davies, chairman of the ELR Belief, added: “Covid-19 has devastated charities just like the ELR proper throughout the nation.
“Nevertheless, for the trustees there is just one ELR and we are going to do no matter we are able to in our energy to ensure this beloved railway survives.”