The North Yorkshire Moors Railway has been awarded £4.6M by the National Lottery. This funding will go towards NYMR’s Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey, a £9.2M Sustainability Project aimed at securing the future of the railway.
An award-winning visitor attraction steams across the Yorkshire Moors bringing delight to more than 350,000 passengers every year.
John Glen, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism said: “The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is part of this country’s rich railway heritage and this £4.6 million investment, thanks to National Lottery players, will help preserve it for generations to come. The Railway welcomes more passengers than any other heritage railway in the world and is a fantastic way to see Yorkshire’s stunning scenery.”
Keeping 18 miles of railway with more than thirty bridges through the difficult countryside of the North York Moors in top-notch condition is a continuing challenge for the NYMR Trustees. The 180-year old railway already invests around £1 million annually but there’s only so much the fare box can generate and much more is needed for the railway bridges and its 50-100 year old vehicles to remain viable.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Trust Chairman, John Bailey, said: “Fifty years ago our founders had the vision and determination to re-open the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Today we face a challenge of similar scale. We are extremely grateful for the support from the National Lottery.
“With its backing, we can plan confidently both the implementation of essential projects and our appeal for the balance of funds required. This should ensure that fifty years hence, people will still be learning from and enjoying the experience of steam across the Moors.”
The NYMR is owned and operated by a 10,000-member community-based charitable trust. It employs more than 100 people, depends on more than 1000 volunteers and contributes more than £30M per annum to the economy of the Moors and Coast.
Sir Peter Luff, chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “The North Yorkshire Moors Railway travels through some of the country’s most impressive and beautiful landscape. We are hugely supportive of this project which will preserve the heritage of the line, allow people to enjoy the wonderful journey it provides and engage new groups in its management and conservation.
“We are grateful to National Lottery players for helping raise this substantial sum of money and we hope many will come to Yorkshire to experience one of the world’s leading heritage railways.”
To deliver the investment programme, the NYMR must raise matching funds of £4.6M. With generous member bequests and anticipation to secure more grants, the NYMR will need to raise approx. £2.5M from members, passengers and the public over the next five years.