The Kent and East Sussex Railway is one of 445 heritage organisations across the country
set to receive a lifesaving financial boost from the Government thanks to the £1.57bn
Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the coronavirus pandemic and which is
designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas,
heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loan.
The 445 organisations will share £103 million.
The Kent and East Sussex Railway has received the sum of £301,500 from the UK
Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. Together with other measures it is taking, this grant
will safeguard the popular heritage railway’s future and ensure that its people, most of
whom are volunteers, will be able to run its steam trains for the enjoyment and education
of visitors young and old.
The funding will underpin the K&ESR’s Covid recovery plan by replacing much of the
income lost in 2020 due to the pandemic, and primarily by enabling it to:
Continue to employ the reduced number of staff necessary to sustain its operations
in the new Covid world, ensure that its operations remain Covid-safe.
Enhance its IT to facilitate improved online bookings and more efficient working
Almost 450 heritage organisations in England, including the Kent and East Sussex Railway at
Tenterden in Kent, have been awarded cash from the first round of the Culture Recovery
Fund for Heritage. Grants of up to £1million will deliver a lifeline for the heritage sector in England with further
support to follow and larger grants for capital projects awarded through the Heritage
Stimulus Fund. This is the first major tranche of funding from the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery
Fund. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“As a nation it is essential that we preserve our heritage and celebrate and learn from our past.
This massive support package will protect our shared heritage for future generations, save jobs and
help us prepare for a cultural bounceback post Covid.”
Kent and East Sussex Railway Chairman Simon Marsh said:
“The award of this grant is a testament to the determination of the Kent and East Sussex Railway
to weather the pandemic, and a vote of confidence in the measures we have already taken and still
plan to take. We will use it wisely to secure our immediate future and ensure that our people will
be able to operate heritage steam trains for the enjoyment and education of our visitors in the years
“We are very grateful to the Culture Recovery Fund and pleased to acknowledge the support given
by the Government’s #HereForCulture movement.
“There is still much hard work to be done to reset the business and make it fit for the new world,
and we shall always require support for the capital projects that are necessary further to improve
what we can offer, but this is a tremendous boost to us and means that we can now look forward
to the future with renewed confidence.
We are putting the finishing touches to our plans for running trains during the October half-term, in
the run-up to and over the Christmas and New Year period and throughout 2021. Details will be
released via our website.
“We have so many opportunities for people to get involved at the railway and help preserve their
local heritage railway. We do have many volunteer roles, some of which may surprise you – we’d
love to hear from you. Email our Volunteer Recruitment Manager firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our