East Lancashire Railway given lottery funding to help with coronavirus recovery

Credit: East Lancashire Railway

The East Lancashire Railway has been given over £190,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help recover from the impact of lockdown.

The Bury-based attraction said that the funding was "vital and timely" after having to cease operations between March and August as well as having to limit passenger numbers in a bid to make the railway "covid safe".

The chairman of the railway network, Mike Kelly, said that they can now ensure that they keep running.

"Recent months have been the most challenging in our history, threatening our very existence and after a huge effort by our volunteers and a small cohort of staff we were overjoyed to be able to re-launch heritage services successfully last month," he added.

“This funding helps secure the future of our railway by giving us the means to make essential repairs, upgrade our digital presence and cover the investment we have made to make the railway Covid safe and reassure our visitors we are ‘Good to Go’."

The funding was awarded through the lottery's emergency heritage fund after £50million was made available to those most in need across the heritage sector in the UK.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of 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."