The Colne Valley Railway secures Heritage Lottery Fund investment

Braintree District Council is very pleased to have been able to support Colne Valley Railway Preservation Society via our Business Growth Loan Fund

Braintree District Council is very pleased to have been able to support Colne Valley Railway Preservation Society via our Business Growth Loan Fund which helped them secure a huge Heritage Lottery Grant to be invested in the north of our District.

Cllr Tom Cunningham, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Braintree District Council, said: “We’re proud to have been able to support Colne Valley Railway Preservation Society via our Business Growth Loan Fund which helped them secure a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £1.75 million and will be directly invested in the North of the District. Colne Valley Railway is one of our major rural tourism and heritage destinations – a wonderful day out for families and school children and a great example of one of our local attractions.”

The Colne Valley Railway Preservation Societ has received a confirmed grant of £1,757,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its “All Aboard: Developing the Colne Valley Railway” project, it was announced today.

The project aims to provide long term sustainability for the Colne Valley Railway (CVR) including the provision a new entrance and building which includes visitor facilities together with the development of two important centres on the CVR’s main site. These are the Cubitt Skills Centre, a workshop which will become a centre of excellence for the overhaul and restoration of historic railway carriages, and the Brewster Interpretation Centre, which will tell the story of the Railway and the local community through applying the latest developments in museum displays to both entertain and inform our visitors.

Through a collaboration programme working with the local community, the archive collections held by the Charity and others will be digitised and joined through a single web portal, allowing online public access to the collections for the first time. The Charity’s existing education programme will be enhanced and developed allowing a greater range of students to benefit.

The original Colne Valley (& Halstead) Railway was built by the local community itself after the area was ignored by the big Victorian railway companies and the preserved current day Colne Valley Railway celebrates that tradition. Since its inception in 1974, the current Colne Valley Railway has specialised in visits by schools (around 50 schools a year) and organisations caring with those with special needs, as well as welcoming local families and enthusiasts.

Paul Lemon, Chairman of the Colne Valley Railway Preservation Society, said: “We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us their full support. This allows the Railway to secure its future and to develop the site with some first class facilities for the local community, our visitors and the railway preservation world alike. We would also like to thank Braintree District Council for their support with this project.”

Find out more about Colne Valley here: www.colnevalleyrailway.co.uk

About the Braintree District Council Business Growth Loan

The Braintree District Business Growth Loan Fund is a £500,000 scheme offering at a commercial rate to innovative and growing businesses located in, or moving into, the District. For more information visit www.braintree.gov.uk/businessloan