Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd

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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.

It is a membership body. Governance is through up to nine trustees, including ex officio the chairman (or their nominee) from each of SVR(H) and Severn Valley Railway Company Limited. Its salaried director of development is Shelagh Paterson.


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 Charitable Trust was 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."[3]

The current (2019) Articles of Association state that:[4]

"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.[5]

Shareholding in SVR(H)

The Trust is a minor 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 Trust supports a variety of projects including rolling stock, infrastructure, permanent way, diesel, Bridgnorth development, education and access. Its annual report and accounts, available online from Companies House, lists the projects it has supported in the previous year and the amounts committed. Major projects include:

In October 2017 the Trust announced it was establishing an In Memory Garden for SVR supporters, close to The Engine House.

Charitable expenditure

The report and accounts and Charity Commission website record expenditure on charitable activities by year. An incomplete record follows:

Financial year ending Amount Notes
2016 £166,770
2017 £436,890
2018 £382,580
2019 £695,990


The Trust receives funds from single donations and regular giving, grant making bodies, companies and groups and gifts in Wills.

In its early years it 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 SVR using an Observation Saloon to make conducted visits to workshops to met staff and volunteer craftsmen.[8]

  • 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

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 SVR’s fleet of accessible carriages, and rebuilding a second carriage to provide wheelchair-accessible dining facilities.

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

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 and restricted funding

The Trust's website lists its current appeals (11 as at 2021) and the annual report and accounts details funds restricted by the donor to particular items or projects (19 as at 2019).

Rolling stock

The Charitable Trust owns GWR 7819 Hinton Manor, BR Class 11 12099 and a number of carriages and goods wagons. A full list of all the rolling stock owned by the Trust can be found here.

Some of these vehicles were donated to the Trust by preservation groups, including the following.

See also