Cash Boost for Ruddington’s Railway

The carriage shed interior as it looks now

Volunteers at Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre on Mere Way have revealed one of their projects has been awarded significant grant funding by Rushcliffe Borough Council to help them complete it.

The £40,000 being given to the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) Ltd (GCRN) ‘Carriage Shed Project’ comes from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) – part of the UK Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda providing funding for local investment.

The money, combined with match funding from East Midlands Railway Trust and LNER (GC) Heritage Trust will allow the already part finished carriage shed building at our Ruddington heritage site to be completed. GCRN aims to house four operational passenger carriages undercover, protecting them from the elements and vandalism. There will also be room for a small workshop.

George Green, Infrastructure Director of GCRN, says: “This is another essential step on the road to reopening the northern section of the Great Central Railway. Known as Building No 4, the project had been underway for some time before the pandemic intervened, and funds dried up. The Shared Prosperity funding is essential and will get the build back on track. All being well, priceless heritage carriages will be safely inside by the end of this calendar year and this in turn will help reopen the railway from Ruddington to Loughborough. It will also encourage tourism, current and future volunteers and cut vandalism in the area. We also hope to be able to use the completed building as an additional event space – for example to stage craft festivals and exhibitions – thus encouraging more visitors to the vibrant Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre”.

Prior to the announcement of funding, preparatory work was carried out to lay sidings into the part built shed {photos top and below courtesy of Tom Ingall & GCRN}. Work carried out by volunteers to install the track is being counted as a ‘match funding’ contribution to the project.

David Rae, Chairman of the East Midlands Railway Trust, says: “We’re delighted to support Great Central Railway (Nottingham). Protecting heritage for future generations is key to a thriving tourism economy in Rushcliffe.The carriage shed will be a terrific facility.”

Andy Fillingham, Chairman of the LNER (GC) Heritage Trust, says: “We’re all looking to a future where our railway connects to the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire, and we have heritage trains and passengers travelling across the East Midlands. Keeping a train’s worth of carriages safe and sound is an essential investment towards that vision.”

GCRN reveals contractors are due on site in mid September to resume work on the carriage shed. Its completion will mean the railway can offer covered storage for carriages in addition to the heritage style locomotive shed and engineering works. Recently Ruddington has become home to prestige steam loco London and North Eastern Railway B1 Class No. 1264.

George Green adds: “The funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Rural England Prosperity Fund is another demonstration that the Great Central Railway (Nottingham)’s revival is well underway. We are determined to offer great tourism potential to the area, play our part in showing the next generation how our heritage can be treasured and get ready to reunify our line with the GCR in Leicestershire. These are exciting times, and we thank the Council and charities for their faith and investment.”

The Nottingham Transport Heritage Centre in Ruddington

As for news about when ‘big’ trains will finally start running from Ruddington again? We’ll let you know as soon as we do!

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