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Lottery grant means bright future for South Tynedale Railway

A boost for one of the top tourist attractions in the North Pennines.

A lottery grant of over £4 million is set to be used to revitalise the South Tynedale Railway in Alston.

The line was closed for seven years in the late 70s and early 80s, but now its steam engines attract thousands of visitors each year. Matthew Taylor reports.

New station for South Tynedale Railway

The money will help to revamp the entire stretch of line Credit: ITV News Border

The entire stretch of the South Tyndedale Railway is about to be transformed by a £5.5 million investment.

The money's coming from a grant of over £4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £1.3 million raise by themselves.

Duncan Graham, a trustee of the South Tyndale Railway said: "We're going to extend our railway to Slaggyford, a mile and a quarter away and build a cafe and a new station there. And then at Alston where we are standing there will be a covered."

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Alston community ambulance could be axed

A community run ambulance, which is said to be a lifeline for people in Alston, could be axed.

The so-called agency ambulance has operated for 45 years, staffed by five members of the local community, trained in basic life support.

The agency ambulance responds to emergency calls in Alston Moor to help patients until the ambulance service staff arrive.

The future of the ambulance and other local urgent response services will be discussed at a meeting at Samuel King's School tonight.

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Alston Moor encourages "big ideas" for locals

Community leaders in Alston are encouraging locals to share their "big ideas" to help breath new life into the area.

The Alston Moor Partnership (AMP) is offering advice on funding and marketing to people or businesses with fresh ideas.

Plans are already underway to bring the Nenthead Mines back to life as a tourist attraction, as well as promoting more festivals in the area.

"If we can get some of these ideas off the ground, it'll make a real difference here and we can have a nice vibrant town centre."

– Sonia Kempsey, chair of the AMP
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