SVR SHARE OFFER SEEKS REMAINING £1.5 MILLION
Published at 13:46 on Friday 26th May 2017
Tags: SVR, Bridgnorth, Share Issue, Heritage Railway
An artists impression of how the new building will look. SVR
The team behind the SVR’s Bridgnorth station share offer has launched a concerted campaign to find the remaining £1.5 million the railway still needed to fund the most ambitious conservation and development project in its 52-year history.
A total of 2.5 million shares went on sale in November last year with the entire proceeds destined to provide much-improved visitor facilities while conserving and enhancing the architectural integrity of the distinctive neo-Jacobean station built in 1862. Having passed the ‘magic’ million milestone in March this year, the Railway now has just over five months to secure the remaining £1.5 million of investment needed before the share offer closes on 31st October.
There are three key work phases, the first two will be funded through share offer proceeds, starting with the construction of a new refreshment room and toilet building. Designed in the style of a typical Great Western Railway building of the early 20th century, the construction will use the traditional materials of brick, slate and timber. In addition, alterations to the existing Grade-II listed building will provide more room in the popular station pub, The Railwayman’s Arms, and the relocation of the existing shop will allow reinstatement of the original booking hall and waiting room. Tree planting activities will complete the first phase of planned works.
Work on Phase 1 has been underway since the end of last year, and with foundations and groundworks complete, construction of the new refreshment room has begun and will be finished later this year.
The second phase of the development will involve the installation of the former Bristol (Bath Road) turntable in the locomotive yard offering, for the first time, the opportunity to turn locomotives at the northern end of the 16-mile line, which will also provide a genuine spectacle for enthusiasts. Included within phase two, is improved car parking to the west of the existing boiler shop and enhanced road access, enabling SVR to cater for an increased number of visitors at the northern end of the line.
The third phase, although not the subject of the current share offer, will be a new accommodation building for the volunteer workforce, and will be based on a design built by the Great Western Railway for their staff at Didcot in 1944.
Long-time SVR volunteer and board member, Tony Bending, is tasked with leading the final months of the share offer campaign and called upon fellow enthusiasts to join in.
He said: "So far we have received applications from far and wide, from friends old and new, but we have still a long way to go in relatively little time and we would ask anyone who has not yet supported us to consider doing so."
There are additional benefits to just supporting the railway, those with 100 shares or more receive travel benefits ranging from one free ticket each year to a free travel pass for the holder and up to three guests.
To read more or to apply, go to www.svr.co.uk/shareoffer.