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Case Studies

Case Studies

Colne Valley Railway

Colne Valley Railway funding going full steam ahead

Lots in the pipeline for tourist attraction Colne Valley Railway after securing a £1.7 million grant thanks to Braintree District Council.

Since being awarded £200,000 as part of Braintree District Council’s Business Growth Loan Fund and receiving a £1.7 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2016, Colne Valley Railway have been busy upgrading their site and developing new facilities for railway visitors, all enabling them to create long-term sustainability for the attraction.

This includes a new Brewster Interpretation Centre, which is anticipated to open in July and will provide a modern museum showcasing the area through history using innovative interactive technology to bring the stories to life.

They will also be introducing their Cubitt Restoration Centre, allowing visitors to see restoration of the steam engines as well as being able to commission out restoration services for other sites and partners. This development alone will see the creation of 2 additional jobs, with the potential to recruit a further member of staff and recruiting an apprentice with Braintree College.

Other plans include a replica Goods Yard, children’s play area and improved catering and toilet facilities.

Paul Lemon, Chairman of Colne Valley Railway Preservation Ltd, originally contacted Braintree District Council when the attraction was looking likely to close. With financial support from the Growth Loan fund, the site was able to attract the £1.7 million grant, which enabled the land the site is based on to be purchased from the land owner and allowing for development plans to be put into action.

"We are extremely grateful to Braintree District Council for giving us the opportunity to secure a future for our business. When you are dealing with expansion, particularly around specialist areas, getting the right support and finance to deliver such plans is crucial to success. We would like to encourage other businesses to contact Braintree District Council who are seeking support to grow.”

-Paul Lemon, Chairman of Colne Valley Railway Preservation Ltd,

“We’re so pleased to see the funding going a long way at Colne Valley Railway and has provided one of our major rural tourism and heritage destinations long-term sustainability and security for the future. We would encourage any other businesses in the district to contact us regarding our Business Growth Loan Fund to see how we can help support you.”

-Councillor Tom Cunningham, Cabinet Member for Economic Development,

A new Business Development Manager has been also recruited, who, alongside the hard work of staff, has seen a 9% growth in turnover within the last year and an increase of 7% new visitors to the district.

Braintree District Council have access to a wide range of business support and funding initiatives for any district start-ups or SME’s looking to innovate and grow. If you would like to know more about how your business could benefit from this, please contact [email protected] to discuss your requirements.