Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd
Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd is a Registered Charity, Number 1092723, for the purpose of raising funds to support the SVRSevern Valley Railway. It is commonly referred to on the SVRSevern Valley Railway 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 SVRSevern Valley Railway 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:
"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 SVRSevern Valley Railway's general charitable trust, for which purpose it adopted its present name. The current (2019) Articles of Association state that:
"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 Charitable Trust was the SVRSevern Valley Railway's 'owner of last resort', "...ensuring that various locomotives, coaches and wagons that have been lovingly restored over many years by SVRSevern Valley Railway 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."
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.
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. In 2019 the market value was £24,435.
- The Charitable Trust funds most of the costs of the SVRSevern Valley Railway’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).
- It secured an HLFHeritage Lottery Fund (National Lottery Heritage Fund from 2019) grant of £95,000 towards the restoration of 4930 Hagley Hall.
- The Trust has worked closely with volunteers from the LNER Carriage Group to raise funds for and in conjunction with Carriage & Wagon to complete the final restoration work on three GresleySir Nigel Gresley, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the London & North Eastern Railway 1923-1941 teak carriages (Kitchen Composite 7960, Brake Third 24506 and Open Third 52255.) These were splendidly showcased when Flying Scotsman visited the SVRSevern Valley Railway in September 2016.
- It contributed £30,000 to the annual track re-laying work that took place in 2016 between Eardington and Bridgnorth.
- The Trust has been instrumental in funding the stonework restoration on Sandbourne Viaduct with £60,000 contributed in 2017
- In January 2018 it raised £13,000 by appeal to repair damage caused by vandals to two coaches.
- A rolling stock fundraising and restoration project for GWR Toad van 17410 took place in collaboration with the LNER Carriage Group and raised around £10,000
- The Trust funded the overhaul of GWR 9615 Kitchen Diner First from 2018.
- It contributed to the track re-laying work that took place in 2018 at County Boundary
- It supported the reinstating of the Eardington Station platform in January 2018
- In 2019 it hit its £397,000 target for its Falling Sands Viaduct appeal and was awarded a further £853,800 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, following an initial £71,800 in 2017 to develop its bid.
- In 2019 a £10,000 grant from the Postcode Lottery funded covered outdoor seating and an enlarged Anderson shelter at The Engine House.
- In October 2017 the Trust announced it was establishing an In Memory Garden for SVRSevern Valley Railway supporters, close to The Engine House.
The Trust receives funds from donations and regular giving, grant making bodies, companies and groups and gifts in Wills.
In its early years appointed Compton Fundraising Consultants. It subsequently moved to a staff and volunteer based model.
It has sought to develop large scale fundraising, including lottery funding.
To generate support from "influential individuals" the Trust may typically invite a small group to spend a day on the SVRSevern Valley Railway using an Observation Saloon to make conducted visits to workshops to met staff and volunteer craftsmen.
- In addition to gifts it seeks pledges or future bequests. Those leaving a gift in their Will to the SVRSevern Valley Railway Charitable Trust are invited to join the Guardians' Club.
- Individuals donating over £100 or giving regular gifts by monthly contributions are invited to join the Patrons' Club.
- It has the support of Corporate partners
In May 2016, the Trust secured a grant of £75,000 from the Department for Transport towards a project to adapt a carriage to wheelchair use to complete the SVRSevern Valley Railway’s fleet of accessible carriages, and rebuilding a second carriage to provide wheelchair-accessible dining facilities
Events organised by the Charitable Trust include:
- April 2014: Charity Race Day at Ludlow Races raising £62,000.
- June 2015: Charity Race Day at Worcester Racecourse raising £34,500.
- June 2016: Charity Race Day at Worcester Racecourse raising £22,000
- September 2016: VIP Flying Scotsman Charity Day
- 14 June 2017: Charity Race Day at Worcester Racecourse raising £23,000.
- 11 June 2018: Annual Charity Race Day at Worcester Racecourse raising £13,000.
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. 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 and restricted funding
The Trust's website lists its current appeals (11 as at 2021) and the annual report and accounts details restricted funds (19 as at 2019).
Some of these vehicles were donated to the Trust by preservation groups, including the following.
- Hinton Manor Fund (ownership of GWR 7819 Hinton Manor)
- Kidderminster Shunter Fund (ownership of BR Class 11 12099)
- L.M.S. & B.R.British Rail or British Railways Coach Fund transferred ownership of its carriages to the Charitable Trust in 2007, following which it became a department within the 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 LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway carriages to the Charitable Trust, resulting in the Trust now owning all nine LNERLondon & North Eastern Railway carriages based on the SVRSevern Valley Railway.
- The SVR Organisation
- L.M.S. & B.R. Coach Department - a department of the Trust
- The LNER Carriage Group - part of the Trust
- Friends of 4930 Hagley Hall - integrated into the trust to maximise income through Gift Aid
- Falling Sands Viaduct
- Commemorative Garden
- Heritage Skills Training Academy
- List of Charities associated with the SVR
- Charitable Trust Chairmen
- Companies House
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 178
- Companies House
- Statement from Director of Development, November 2016 on SVR Live
- SVR Charitable Trust Report and Financial Statements 30 June 2017
- 'Platform' magazine, 2018 Issue 4, p.6
- Express Points April 2019
- 2013 Annual Report
- Charitable Trust Website 'Make a Donation' (retrieved 12 August 2019)
- Charitable Trust news page
- 2014 Annual Report
- Worcester News
- James Connell, 'Race day at Worcester supports Severn Valley Railway's Heritage Skills Training Academy', Malvern Gazette 23 June 2016 (Retrieved 5 March 2017)
- Charitable Trust Flying Scotsman page
- SVRSevern Valley Railway Twitter 15 June 2017
- 'Express Points', July 2018
- SVRLive Charitable Trust page, 26 April 2017