Heritage Railway’s ‘Money Match March’

Whilst villagers and visitors eagerly await the reopening of Ruddington’s Great Central Railway (Nottingham) attractions post ‘lockdown’, which is due to start on April 12th, there’s a major fundraising drive this month to rejoin the tracks between Ruddington and Leicester North.

As the Reunification Appeal continues, during March, every pound you give, either online, by existing or newly established standing order – or by cheque through the post – will be matched pound for pound, up to £100,000, by a mystery donor. Railway volunteers are reporting that already tens of thousands of pounds have arrived in the Reunification fund since the beginning of this month.*

GCR says: “What a great way to start the year! If ‘Money Match March’ is fully subscribed we’ll have another two hundred thousand pounds in the pot. Please help us seize this opportunity. Whatever you give, can be matched. Give five pounds and it becomes ten. Give ten and it becomes twenty. Make your gift go further and we’ll be getting closer to building and through trains between Leicester North and Ruddington.”

As reported previously at RUDDINGTON.info, a great deal of progress in realising this goal has already been made in the last few years but there’s still some way to go. Since our last update, Civil Engineering consultants Cass Hayward have slightly revised the plans (pictured right) for phases three and four of ‘Reunification’ – the ‘Factory Flyover’ in Loughborough.

Whilst one of the reclaimed Reading bridge decks will still be used to cross Railway Terrace road, the remainder of the new sixty metres of formation is now expected to be created using pre stressed concrete bridge beams and decks. It’s believed this approach will be more economic, simpler to build and, in the long term, simpler to maintain. These new plans are being used to obtain detailed cost estimates for GCR to continue its discussion with Charnwood Borough Council as it works towards a planning application.

GCR adds: “We need to wait until we have most of the money in place before engaging contractors. Our fundraising has now passed the half a million pounds mark, towards our estimated three million pound cost for these next two phases. Thank you so much for your support. However you have donated, it all counts and means we are really building momentum.”

A new video about the Reunification project has been produced, and can be watched below:

The ‘Money Match March’ brochure is available to download >>HERE<<. You you can use this to make a one-off donation or set up a standing order.  Alternatively you can donate online >>HERE<<.


Andy Fillingham, Chairman of the Friends of the Great Central Main Line (the membership organisation for the GCR which is driving the fundraising) has revealed that support for their March fundraiser was received from enthusiasts and well-wishers around the world.

A late flurry of donations received just before month-end, after our news story (above) was published, saw well over £150,000 being received, over the available “matching funds”. With the match funding, the new grand total is now £755,000.

“We can’t quite believe we’ve reached three quarters of a million pounds!” says Andy. “The generosity of the support has taken our breath away. We now have 25% of the £3m we need to build the next two phases of the Reunification project.”

Of course, we’ll keep you posted with further fundraising and progress here at RUDDINGTON.info.

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