Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd

Revision as of 16:28, 17 December 2020 by Robin (talk | contribs) (Current appeals: remove as of)

Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd is a Registered Charity, Number 1092723, for the purpose of raising funds to support the SVR. It is commonly referred to on the SVR as "the Charitable Trust". Its objectives are to help fund restoration and maintenance projects, to help arrest the decline of heritage engineering skills and to safeguard the long-term future and operational capability of the Railway.


Origins and Objects

The SVR Rolling Stock Trust Company Limited was incorporated on 17 December 2001 as a private company limited by guarantee, company number 04341280. As a charitable body, its Objects were:[1]

"To advance education for the benefit of the public by:

  • the acquisition, restoration, preservation, operation maintenance and display of heritage railway locomotives, coaches, wagons and artefacts
  • the provision of facilities for the education, training and certification of trainees in the practicalities, techniques and methods used in the restoration, repair and operation of historic railways"

On 29 June 2012 the Trust took on a wider remit as the SVR's general charitable trust, for which purpose it adopted its present name.[2] The current (2017) Articles of Association state that:[3]

"The Charity’s Objects are specifically restricted to the following:

  • to advance education for the benefit of the public by the acquisition, restoration, preservation and operation of heritage railway locomotives, carriages, wagons, station buildings, track and other associated infrastructure
  • establishing buildings to house and preserve the Charity’s rolling stock collection
  • the provision of educational and interpretive displays for the travelling public and
  • the provision of education and skills training used in the restoration, repair and operation of historic railways to ensure their long term survival"

The Trust is a member of the Heritage Trust Network, an umbrella organisation for built heritage preservation groups and individuals formed in 2016 from the Association of Preservation Trusts (UK-APT). Members work to restore built heritage and bring historic buildings back into community use.[4]


  • The Charitable Trust funds most of the costs of the SVR’s Heritage Skills Training Academy and team of apprentices. It costs £21,000 to fund an apprentice for one year, and the Trust funded £165,125 in 2017 (2016: £35,000).[5]
  • In May 2016, the Trust secured a grant of £75,000 from the Department for Transport towards a project which will transform the Railway’s facilities for disabled visitors by adapting a carriage to wheelchair use to complete the SVR’s fleet of accessible carriages, and rebuilding a second carriage to provide wheelchair-accessible dining facilities
  • It works with supporters to ensure their wishes are kept when they decide to leave a final legacy to the Railway in their Will.
  • In October 2017 the Trust announced it was establishing an In Memory Garden for SVR supporters, close to The Engine House.


The Trust is a shareholder in SVR(H) by way of donated or bequeathed shares. In the 2012 Share Offer existing shareholders with small numbers of shares who did not want to increase their holding were invited to donate their shares to the Trust.

Previous support


The Trust has sought to develop large scale fundraising. To generate support from "influential individuals" the Trust may typically invite a small group to spend a day on the SVR using an Observation Saloon to make conducted vists to workshops to met staff and volunteer craftsmen.[8]

  • It appointed Compton Fundraising Consultants'
  • In addition to gifts it seeks pledges or future bequests. Those leaving a gift in their Will to the SVR Charitable Trust are invited to join the Guardians' Club.[9]
  • Individuals donating over £100 or giving regular gifts by monthly contributions are invited to join the Patrons' Club.[9]
  • It has the support of Corporate partners

Fundraising events

Events organised by the Charitable Trust include:[10]

  • April 2014: Charity Race Day at Ludlow Races raising £62,000.[11]
  • June 2015: Charity Race Day at Worcester Racecourse raising £34,500.[12]
  • June 2016: Charity Race Day at Worcester Racecourse raising £22,000[13]
  • September 2016: VIP Flying Scotsman Charity Day[14]
  • 14 June 2017: Charity Race Day at Worcester Racecourse raising £23,000.[15]
  • 11 June 2018: Annual Charity Race Day at Worcester Racecourse raising £13,000.[16]

The Charitable Trust took over the organisation of the annual Peep Behind the Scenes day for 2017.

Endowment Future Fund

The Trust set up an endowment Future Fund, the income from which is intended to allow sustainable investment on the Railway in years to come. It has aspirations to grow the Fund to £2 million by 2020 and eventually to £10 million.[17] It appointed professional investment managers, Brewin Dolphin, to manage the investment. Donations to the Future Fund were matched, pound for pound, by a Heritage Lottery Fund Catalyst programme grant of up to £500,000 which was awarded in 2013 and reached on 26 May 2017, giving a total fund value of over £1 million.

Current appeals

Rolling stock

The Charitable Trust owns GWR 7819 Hinton Manor, BR Class 11 12099 and a number of carriages and goods wagons:

  • Some of these carriages were formerly owned by a separate body, the L.M.S & B.R. Coach Fund. The Coach Fund donated them to the Charitable Trust in 2007, following which it became a department within the Charitable Trust. The department maintains a sales coach at Bridgnorth.
  • Three carriages were also acquired from the LNER (SVR) Coach Fund in 2010, at which time the LNER Carriage Group similarly became a department within the Charitable Trust.
  • In early 2016, the LNER (SVR) Coach Fund and the SVR Holdings Company transferred the ownership of their LNER carriages to the Charitable Trust, resulting in the Trust now owning all nine LNER carriages based on the SVR.

The Charitable Trust is the SVR's 'owner of last resort', "...ensuring that various locomotives, coaches and wagons that have been lovingly restored over many years by SVR volunteers can remain at the Railway, in perpetuity. As the members of the many preservation groups inevitably age and their numbers dwindle, items of rolling stock can be donated to the Charitable Trust, in order to be absolutely certain they will remain at the Railway for the long-term."[21]

A full list of all the rolling stock owned by the Trust can be found here.

See also