Second ‘Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage’ grant funding for Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway

  • GWSR receives a further ‘life-line’ £71,800 in second Culture Recovery Fund grant aid

  • Toddington-based Dinmore manor Locomotive Ltd also receives £12,800

  • Awards help railway recover from Covid closures and cancellations


Winchcombe, Gloucestershire 03 April 2021: The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) has received a welcome further Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage (CRFH) grant following its bid application to the Department of Culture, Media and Sports, according to a Government announcement on Friday 2nd April.


The Round 2 grant is for up to £71,800, which will help the 14-mile Cotswolds heritage railway in its recovery from enforced closures and cancellations thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The railway reopens on Tuesday 13th April with a Covid-secure service, having remained closed over the important Easter holiday and comes at a time when the railway is preparing to celebrate its 40th anniversary.


Round trips of the railway starting and finishing from Toddington station GL54 5DT are bookable online from but the trains are of reduced capacity to permit social distancing.  Full services and re-opening of the railway’s other stations at Cheltenham Racecourse, Gotherington, Winchcombe and Broadway are not expected to resume before the end of June, subject to continuing Government guidance.


In addition, Dinmore Manor Locomotive Limited, which is based at the Toddington workshops of the GWSR, has received a second grant of up to £12,800 to support the ongoing £400,000 major overhaul of its 1942-built Great Western 2-8-0 locomotive no. 3850.  Its first grant was for up to £26,100.


The funds are designed to assist essential overhead costs through to 30th June 2021 and must be used by this date.  The GWSR has seven staff and over 950 volunteers.


Last year, the railway suffered a 77% drop in passenger numbers, thanks to lockdown and reduced capacity of trains when they were able to run. 


A spokesman for the railway said: “The Culture Recovery Fund is a key initiative to help a wide range of heritage organisations recover and reopen from enforced closures and cancellations, designed to contain the virus and save lives.  We are deeply grateful to the Government for recognising the importance of underpinning the security of Britain’s rich and diverse heritage, including the GWSR.”


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."

The funding awarded now 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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Photographs: Available here (range of images) and here (Covid services)


At the Budget, the Chancellor announced the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund would be boosted with a further £300 million investment. Details of this third round of funding will be announced soon. 

ABOUT THE CULTURE RECOVERY FUND FOR HERITAGE:  The Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund helps organisations to recover and reopen. Nearly £400 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced on Friday 2 April. 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.

ABOUT GLOUCESTERSHIRE WARWICKSHIRE STEAM RAILWAY The award-winning Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) operates over 14 miles through the Cotswolds between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway.  Because of Covid-19 restrictions, the railway has, since 15th August operated round trips when permitted under government guidance only from Toddington station, bookable in advance and that continues from 13 April until the end of June, unless restrictions are eased earlier.  Subject to Covid-19 lockdowns.  Turn-up-and-go tickets have been available subject to space being available on trains.  Services have and continue to reflect prevailing Government guidelines. The GWSR is on part of the former Great Western Railway route between the West Midlands and Bristol, South Wales and the West Country.  The line between Cheltenham and Stratford-upon Avon closed in 1976 and the infrastructure was removed in 1979, the formative GWSR beginning to rebuild the line 40 years ago in 1981.


ABOUT DINMORE MANOR LOCOMOTIVE LIMITED: Dinmore Manor Locomotive Group is the owner of three ex-Great Western Railway-designed steam locomotives that are based on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway.  One of the locomotives, a 1942-built heavy freight 2-8-0 design, no. 3850, is currently undergoing one of the most comprehensive overhauls ever carried out by a heritage group and includes amongst other major works, new cylinder blocks and partial replacement of the frames, as well as major boiler work.  The other locomotives owned by the group include a similar 2-8-0 design no. 3845 (yet to be restored) while the locomotive from which the group takes its name is ‘Manor’ class 4-6-0 no. 7820 ‘Dinmore Manor’ which can frequently be seen operating trains on the GWSR.