Preservation for Generations

Our Appeal

We are looking to gain support from our loyal supporters in order to raise funds for 3 key projects for which around £250,000 is needed to deliver them.  However we cannot do this alone.

We have made great steps towards kick starting our fundraising appeals and hope that you will be able to help us continue the funding.  If you would like to help by supporting an appeal then you can either make a single or monthly donation to any of the projects.

Furthermore, we would gratefully receive any legacy information requests if you feel you could help the railway for future generations.

Background to Our Appeal

Without the involvement of our ELR Trust local authority partners the reopening of the East Lancashire Railway would not have been possible.

Unlike a number of earlier railway preservation projects when the ELR line was purchased from British Rail, the route included a significant number of major structures, some in poor condition and the bulk of station facilities other than Bolton Street had been demolished.

From 1984 onwards our ELR Trust local authority partners were able to source funding from a variety of benefactors for both the restoration of the ELR’s many major structures and for the restoration of platforms and construction of our new stations.  Work initially focused on the reconstruction of three major river bridges, restoration of the platforms at Ramsbottom along with new station building, a complete new station built at our Rawtenstall terminus and the introduction of our Irwell Vale rail halt.

From 2000 onwards funding was sourced to integrate the Heywood section of the ELR into our operations –  track remodelling and re-signalling at Bury, track relaying from Bury to Heywood, major repairs to Roch Viaduct, re-instatement of Pilsworth Road bridge and the development of Heywood Station itself in its revised position.

However, with the increasing pressure on local government funding and access to grants, public funding available to the ELR has been reducing year on year. If the ELR is to continue to improve its facilities and provide for its future, it must develop its own ability to raise funds for key projects.

Developing an ELR Fundraising Strategy

In consultation with the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society (ELRPS), the East Lancashire Light Railway Company (ELLR Co.) has developed a fundraising strategy which links in to the objectives of the jointly agreed Business Plan.  The approach is simple.  The ELRPS and the Company jointly identify and agree our top three development projects which will be jointly promoted in order to secure the necessary funding and allow the projects to be undertaken.  As progress is made on these schemes further key projects will be identified and jointly agreed.

Our fundraising strategy is to target opportunities from a number of sources:

Donations from the public, members, the Society and associated ELR Groups

  • Legacy fundraising “A Gift in your Will”
  • Grants from Trusts and Statutory bodies
  • Events and Community Fundraising
  • Potential High Profile supporters
  • Corporate Support
  • Sponsorship

Our Current Key Projects

Details of our first three key development projects are shown in the enclosed leaflets.  These are also featured on our website under Support Us.  The 3 key project appeals are for:

  • Bury Station Canopy
  • Standard Tank 80097
  • Coaches for Our Future

Vital to delivering each of these projects is going to be the generous benefaction of our members and hence the intent of this letter.  The ELR’s whole existence relies on the help and support that you and fellow members are able to contribute and we feel confident that this appeal will, yet again, demonstrate the enthusiasm and commitment within the railway that helps ensure we remain one of the UK’s leading heritage railways.

Our thanks in anticipation of your valued contribution.

For more information ELRPS click here.




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