Mid Norfolk Railway – Heritage Lottery

5th November 2020

We are so lucky to have the Mid Norfolk Railway here in our part of Nelson’s County. It is a real tourist asset and a source of joy for so many.

This year, Covid-19 and lockdown has been a major challenge for the MNR – and I valued the opportunity to catch up over Zoom back in the summer to learn more about the challenges they were facing, and subsequently feed in their views to Ministers and officials.

That’s why I was delighted to hear the recent news that the Railway is to receive a £190,000 grant from the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund. Administered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Culture Recovery Fund looks to provide heritage assets with support to help them get through these incredibly difficult times.

The MNR will use over half of their share to fully restore a Mark 1 Corridor Coach. This is a crucial piece of work – seeing the coach join other coaches that the railway has recently restored and, as result, allow the Railway to run trains long enough to comply with Covid-19 social distancing regulations when lockdown ends again. The extra coach will also mean that the Railway can remain economically viable when open.

The rest of money will then be used to hire specialist machinery to allow some essential track maintenance work to be carried out in a way that ensures the railway’s staff and volunteers will be able to socially distance. Some IT equipment will also be purchased so that staff can continue to drive the Railway’s progress forward while working from home.

I am looking forward to visiting the MNR again when it is safe to do so.