South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society

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Bringing economic prosperity to isolated communities in the Pennines

Organisation type

Community transport

Gant amount


Award date

Aug 2015

Set up in 1983, the volunteers at South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society have created the largest single tourist attraction in two of the UK’s top 10% most deprived rural areas.

The Society operate a 3.5 mile narrow gauge steam railway that they hope to extend and connect to the main rail network. This would significantly increase visitor numbers to the area, create jobs and reduce the isolation faced by villages in the region. As a first step, the society has secured £4.25m funding from Heritage Lottery to extend the existing line by 1.25 miles, improve facilities and run environmentally-friendly trains. Power to Change funding will contribute towards capital works and enable this three year project to be completed. This project will attract more visitors, create jobs and enable the society to offer a wider variety of vocational training for local people.

It’s our community that make the railway so special – the volunteers who give us their time, our members who help drive the business forward and local people who give us unyielding support

Brian Craven – Deputy Chairman

Key objectives & Outcomes

Grant purpose

Capital funding to underwrite 6.7% of capital work costs for 1.25 mile rail line extension and associated works which are otherwise funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund


This provides the “last brick in the wall” to allow a comprehensive project and investment programme that has been more than 3 years in preparation with wide community engagement and benefit

Reducing isolation

The railway attracts tourists to a remote and isolated region. In doing so, it is bringing new income to the area, creating employment and supporting the sustainability of local services, such as the community hospital and shops