The financial failure, last week, of paper giant Robert Horne Group has struck a huge blow to the East Lancashire Railway’s ambitions to restore their Bury Bolton Street Station back to its former glory.
The heritage railway’s £100,000 project to re-establish the Victorian style station canopy at the showcase station’s platform 2 is now in serious jeopardy.
Company bosses were alerted to problems when calls to the supplier of the roof glazing for the canopy went unanswered. The railway had paid nearly £18,000 to Robert Horne Group subsidiary, Paperlinx, only the day prior to the Administrators, Deloitte, being appointed and indications are that the East Lancashire Railway will not see either the glazing delivered or their money returned.
The Railway’s General Manager, Andy Morris said “We’re absolutely devastated by what’s happened and we’re still struggling to come to terms with what this will ultimately mean for the future of the canopy project. The sum of money involved is very substantial for a charity such as ours and it is particularly upsetting bearing in mind the funds were raised through donations and other benefaction. We shall be taking legal advice about what rights we have in circumstances such as this but at the moment it doesn’t look very encouraging. We also need to see what options are open to us in terms of keeping the project on-track and for completion by mid-July, as raising a similar amount of cash to that we’ve already paid out is going to be a tall order. However, one thing is for sure, our volunteer workforce will do everything within their power to ensure the job gets done!”
“Fundraising for the project began over 3 years ago and has been the focus of our ever popular annual Raise the Roof music festival at Bolton Street station which is due to take place again over the weekend of 17/18 July this year. We’re obviously now looking for further financial support and we’d be very grateful for any donations, however small, and these can be pledged by going to the East Lancashire Railway website at http://www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk.”