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The BWR is among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund. This significant award provides much needed support for the BWR to meet its continuing costs until - and in readiness for - being able to re-open this year.

Cornwall’s Bodmin & Wenford Railway has received a grant of £144,800 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 the BWR in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.

Cornwall’s Bodmin & Wenford Railway is a major tourist attraction in the Duchy and is popular with visitors and enthusiasts alike. Usually operating for over 200 days a year, these past 12 months the railway has been closed to visitors. The loss of income has been a heavy burden for the Railway to carry whilst it has continued with the usual ongoing repairs and maintenance to keep the railway in good shape for when visitors can return.

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.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

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.”

Jenna Kirkpatrick, BWR’s Marketing & Commercial Co-ordinator, said:

“News of this award is fantastic and a tremendous relief. Heritage railways are hugely expensive, even when trains are not running. For example, there is little change leftover from £1,000 for a single length of rail. This award allows us to bridge some of the funding gap that we have been struggling with. We are hugely grateful to The Cultural Recovery Fund, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England for this award as it helps us recover from these costs and prepare our railway for re-opening this spring.”

Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

“Spring is definitely here, bringing not only sunshine but that sense of optimism and hope for the future. We are all looking forward to heritage places and other visitor attractions reopening and I am very pleased that we have been able to support DCMS in delivering this vital funding to ensure the UK’s heritage sector can rebuild and thrive, boosting local economies, creating jobs and supporting personal wellbeing.” 

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said:

“The value of our heritage sites and the people who run them has been amply demonstrated, as they have provided an anchor for so many of us through the dark days of the last year. Vital grants from the Culture Recovery Fund have helped them survive and will now help them recover, as the places we all cherish start to reopen in the months ahead.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England as well as the British Film Institute and Arts Council England.

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