Hesketh Bank's famed light railway now certain to reopen after Government grant

A Lancashire light railway has been awarded a Government grant to help it survive Covid restrictions.

Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 11:31 am
Updated Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 11:34 am

West Lancashire Light Railway Trust will receive a total of £18,900 from the Government s Culture Recovery Fund.

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Run entirely by volunteers, the railway has operated for over 50 years.

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The West Lancashire Light Railway Trust has been awarded a Government grant

This popular attraction normally operates from April to November every Sunday and Bank Holiday, with a collection of historic steam locomotives, all over 100 years old.

The railway has a proud record of high quality restoration and preservation of our collection of historic locomotives, completed by members in Hesketh Bank.

Mike Spall, the trust's chairman, said: "This funding means a great deal to our Railway Trust. 2020 was a very difficult year for us with nearly all our scheduled operating days cancelled due to the Covid-19 emergency.

"Like many heritage operations, our income, used to keep us operating, was lost overnight.

"This funding will ensure that we can reopen and welcome back our many visitors and friends.

"It will also allow our wonderful volunteers to return to the railway, maintaining friendships and wellbeing, and provide something positive for our community. Our sincere thanks to the Cultural Recovery Fund for this well-timed funding."

Ros Kerslake, chief executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Spring is definitely here, bringing not only sunshine but that sense of optimism and hope for the future.

"We are all looking forward to heritage places and other visitor attractions reopening and I am very pleased that we have been able to support DCMS in delivering this vital funding to ensure the UK’s heritage sector can rebuild and thrive, boosting local economies, creating jobs and supporting personal wellbeing."

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: “The value of our heritage sites and the people who run them has been amply demonstrated, as they have provided an anchor for so many of us through the dark days of the last year.

Vital grants from the Culture Recovery Fund have helped them survive and will now help them recover, as the places we all cherish start to reopen in the months ahead.”