The Mountsorrel Railway Project is to receive a valuable cash boost after being successful in winning an online election arranged by NatWest CommunityForce.
Nationally over 5,800 community projects registered to take part and these were then voted for by the public, either online or by telephone, in an election that was sub-divided into regional competitions. Over 366,000 votes were cast nationally. To achieve success the Mountsorrel Railway had to compete with 45 other projects in the Burton/Loughborough area.
The prize for the railway is an award of £6,275 which is expected to be presented early in the new year. Project leader Steve Cramp was delighted with this news:
"Not only does this allow our track-laying to continue unhindered but it raises the profile of the project both locally and further afield. Like so many community projects, we often find it an uphill battle to gain publicity and this kind of recognition is invaluable for raising the public's awareness of us. What makes the award so special to us is that it was voted for by the public, it's good to know that so many share our vision of bringing what we hope will be a much valued educational and recreational resource to our community."
Not only did the project win the area vote, but also came within the top 1% of all projects nationally! Continued Steve:
"To have come so high in the voting at a national level is almost overwhelming. We don't have the marketing and PR might of some of the larger organisations we were up against, so to know we have such a high level of public support has really give our volunteers a boost."
The aim of the project is to relay just over a mile of railway from just south of Swithland Reservoir to Bond Lane, Mountsorrel. When completed the branch line would become an additional attraction for the Great Central Railway, which would operate trains from Rothley along the branch to Mountsorrel. The restored railway will also form a working linear museum allowing forgotten scenes from our industrial past to be recreated for today's generations to experience and learn from. So far over 500 metres of track has been re-laid. The grant from NatWest CommunityForce will now allow track-laying to progress rapidly towards Wood Lane, Mountsorrel.