Great Central Railway receives significant recovery grant


By Howard Smith

08 April 2021

The Loughborough to Leicester line is to receive vital funding from the second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

The Great Central Railway which operates from Loughborough to Leicester and which is the UK’s only private double track mainline railway has received a grant of £515,700 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen. Nearly £400 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including GCR in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund.

The grant, covering the period from April to June 2021, will support the organisation with the costs it faces as it starts to welcome back visitors and makes the transition towards full re-opening. Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. This brings the Government's total investment across grants, capital and repayable finance from the Culture Recovery Fund so far to more than £1.2 billion across over 5,000 individual cultural and heritage organisations and sites.

Great Central Railway Loughborough

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said, “Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced. Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors - helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead."

Michael Gough, the Great Central Railway PLC’s Managing Director, said, “I cannot emphasise enough how much of a shot in the arm this is for us at such an incredibly difficult time. Whilst we have successfully navigated the crisis thus far, the impact of Covid-19 has dealt the Railway a £3M income-reduction-blow in the last 12 months and this grant will significantly assist in the funding of actions we need to carry out to re-open Covid-secure and in-line with government guidance. It will support us in the complex process of transitioning from months of lockdown and significant restriction and to return to the previous sustainable business model of welcoming over 110,000 visitors each year through our doors.”

For further information on the re-opening of the railway, visit the GCR website.

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