Railway plans will create employment

An artists impression of how the railway attraction will look. Picture: Purcell

An artists impression of how the railway attraction will look. Picture: Purcell

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The Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway has revealed extension plans it hopes to develop if successful in a £2 million grant bid.

The attraction, managed by the Scottish Railway Preservation Society (SRPS), wants to build a new steam maintenance facility which will provide a modern base to care for the collection.

The project will also bring new jobs to the area for staff and apprentices to ensure that engineering skills can be passed on to a new generation through Scotland’s Modern Apprentice Scheme.

This will run alongside a training programme for existing and new volunteers to increase the SRPS skill base.

Vic Michel, SRPS chairman said: “The steam facility will form part of an improved visitor trail where the site itself will be part of a journey of exploration and learning which will be of interest and attract many new visitors to the town.

“I believe that this project will improve visitor access to our nationally significant collection based at Bo’ness. There will be better interpretation and display of the work that is undertaken there.

It is anticipated that the project will take around five years and will require funding of around £2m, which is not yet secure.

The SRPS receives no public revenue funding so in order to raise this amount of money it is applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), along with various other grant-funding bodies.

The organisation also has to raise significant match funding of around £800,000 from public donation, legacies and fundraising events.

A decision on the HLF funding is expected later this year.