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Falling Sands Viaduct

If at first you don’t succeed - the quest for Falling Sands

It could have been a severe setback when our original application for Heritage Lottery funding to restore the Falling Sands Viaduct was not successful. However, HLF indicated some very specific ways in which we could strengthen our bid, and they encouraged us to re-apply. We didn’t need asking twice!

HLF wanted to see a much stronger programme of community engagement around the restoration project, as well as an emphasis on the social history and importance of steam railway to the region. By the time we submitted our second application, we had a raft of ideas and proposals for activities, events, exhibitions and projects, all of which will see us working closely with schools and local interest groups throughout and after the restoration work. By speaking to dozens of organisations including community groups, schools, businesses, and arts, history and civic groups, not to mention around 700 Railway volunteers, we found overwhelming support for the Viaduct’s restoration, and a strong desire for involvement from all quarters.

HLF will let us know during summer 2017 whether our second bid has made it through to the next stage of the process, and they’ll make a final decision in September 2018. We hope that the hard work and meticulous research we’ve put into this bid will pay off, and that HLF will award us the £1million we’re asking for.

Of course, if we are successful, there will still be more work to do, as we launch a major fund raising campaign to secure the further £250,000 needed for this major restoration project.

Why Falling Sands is so important to the SVR

The Viaduct was completed in 1877, and years of water have gradually seeped into its seven arches, causing the brickwork to crack and erode, and the mortar joints to crumble. There’s already a 20 mph speed limit on trains crossing the Viaduct, and things can only get worse. Forced closure of the Viaduct would cut off Kidderminster from the rest of the line. To lose this essential operational hub, housing our historic fleet of carriages, the Diesel Depot, mainline connection, and the point of departure for 80% of our visitors, would compromise the entire future of the SVR. It would be simply unthinkable.

 
 
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