One of the UK’s most popular attractions, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) has been awarded a £750,000, National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) grant by Arts Council England to help the heritage charity continue its vital work in conservation, preservation, education and engaging communities.

The NYMR will receive £250,000 per year for the next three years to support its charitable activities. In total, 990 organisations will receive a share of £446 million (each year) ensuring that more people in more places can find fantastic, fulfilling art and culture on their doorsteps.

Spread across three years, the funding will be used across a variety of projects and activities at NYMR, including:

  • Restoring visitor numbers to pre-COVID levels
  • Improving on-station and on-train interpretation
  • Expanding NYMR dining services
  • Improving the educational offer to school groups
  • Implementing and embedding its comprehensive ‘Fuss Free Access‘ programme to remove all barriers to travel for those with specific needs and their friends and families
  • Building on NYMR’s diverse demographic strength to broaden still further its audience base
  • Working with urban community leaders and its existing urban area groups to encourage volunteer engagement
  • Creating an enhanced focus on long-term skills development in traditional and new technology
  • Setting standards for rail heritage by confronting CO2 emissions, and working with local partners to offset them

Chris Price, CEO at NYMR, commented: “We are extremely excited to be one of the first operational heritage railways to receive NPO funding. This is such great news and a real testament to the work that we do; it’s also recognition of the importance of NYMR to the region, both economically and culturally, and allows us to continue our work and reach even more individuals, groups and communities to share our passion for the history of the region through steam travel.”

Arts Council England Chair, Sir Nicholas Serota, said: “As well as continuing our commitment to our many established and renowned cultural organisations, I am deeply proud of the support we will be giving to those new organisations which will help ignite creativity across the country.  We are facing economic pressures at present, but this funding is about an investment in our future. This portfolio will support the next generation of visionary inventors, makers, performers and artists. In particular, the growth of our funding for organisations that support and develop work for children represents a profoundly important long-term investment in our country’s talent.”

Image courtesy: Visit England and Peter Kindersley