The Ffestiniog Railway Trust has been awarded a £16,700 development grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund [HLF] to develop plans to improve the visitor experience of the unique railway heritage of North Wales.
The Trust, a registered charity, owns the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways that run steam trains between Caernarfon and Blaenau Ffestiniog via Porthmadog in Snowdonia.
The project ‘Taith in Treftadaeth / Our Heritage Journey’ has been given a 'round one' pass by the HLF which means The Trust can now progress to the next stage of the HLF application process to secure funding. It has up to two years to submit more detailed plans and apply for the £332,200 of HLF support they are seeking for the £531,878 project.
Plans include providing equipment and materials for a major volunteer initiative to uncover, restore and interpret the railway’s heritage including many of its historic boundary walls and fences. Volunteers will be trained in conservation skills as well as tour guides to help bring the railway’s heritage back to life.
The project also aims to develop Minffordd and Dinas Stations as 'signing on points' for educational visits. Minffordd will be developed as a heritage centre where visitors will be able to view historic railway items dating back to the 1830s.
Jennifer Stewart, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Wales, added: “This project aims to restore this historic and unique railway and improve the visitor experience through training local people. The increased skilled volunteer base will help ensure the railway’s future sustainability which is an important tourism attraction for the area. As such we have warded a development grant in recognition of the project’s potential and the benefits it could bring to the community.”
For further information, or to arrange a visit, contact Andrew Thomas on 01766 516072 email@example.com or visit the company's website at www.festrail.co.uk
High resolution photography can be found at www.festrail.co.uk/press