RH&DR to re-open after receiving ‘Culture Recover Fund’ Grant

Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway to receive up to £210,000 from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

  • The RH&DR are among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund 
  • This award will be used to keep the railway running and prepared for a positive season in 2021. Critical to this is maintaining all the engines, rolling stock. permanent way and buildings on our unique 94 year old railway still being operated by the original fleet of locomotives. This is undertaken by a dedicated group of paid and volunteer staff who have and will put there all into ensuring the railway continues to operate and entertain the hundreds of thousands of visitors we see each year. This funding will ensure this team can be kept together, their expertise and experience can be utilised at its best and the future of the railway can then be assured.
  • The RH&DR plan to reopen from Monday 12th April pending Government updates.

Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway in Kent has received a grant of up to £210,000 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen. 

Nearly £400 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including [Organisation] in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

This brings the Government’s total investment across grants, capital and repayable finance from the Culture Recovery Fund so far to more than £1.2 billion across over 5,000 individual cultural and heritage organisations and sites.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead. 

Danny Martin (RH&DR General Manager), said:
“Our railway is held very dear in the hearts and minds of its customers, its staff and supporters and the community it serves. The Culture Recovery Fund has ensured we have survived this most challenging winter in good shape. The award just announced will ensure we can provide as many services and great days out as possible from the 12th April.
Our aim is to work towards welcoming 100,000 visitors over the course of the rest of this year and for every one of them to have experienced the nostalgia of steam, seen the wonders of Romney Marsh and Dungeness and become engaged by the very special welcome the people of our railway are famed for. We are all so grateful for this financial help that makes this possible.     

In addition we’re grateful to the RH&DR Association for the support in writing the bid for this grant and the general support of their trustees. “

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:
“Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.
Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: 
“Spring is definitely here, bringing not only sunshine but that sense of optimism and hope for the future. We are all looking forward to heritage places and other visitor   attractions reopening and I am very pleased that we have been able to support DCMS in delivering this vital funding to ensure the UK’s heritage sector can rebuild and thrive, boosting local economies, creating jobs and supporting personal wellbeing.”  

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: 
“The value of our heritage sites and the people who run them has been amply demonstrated, as they have provided an anchor for so many of us through the dark days of the last year. Vital grants from the Culture Recovery Fund have helped them survive and will now help them recover, as the places we all cherish start to reopen in the months ahead.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England as well as the British Film Institute and Arts Council England.

Re-opening information – Click here
Steaming Safely information – Click here

RH&DR Back on Track – re-opening

We’re steaming towards re-opening. The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway have been carefully following the latest Government advice and guidance to leisure facilities and will plan to re-open on Monday 12th April 2021.

RH&DR will be continuing with our enhanced range of health and safety measures to protect our passengers and teams. These measures include Perspex screens between each carriage compartment, one way systems around our catering outlets and gift shops, social distancing markers and more.

RH&DR are proud to be awarded the ‘Safe Travels’ accreditation from the World Travel & Tourism Council.

Find out more about we’re ‘Steaming Safely’ here: https://www.rhdr.org.uk/health-and-safety/

Pre-booking will be essential to avoid disappointment: https://www.rhdr.org.uk/timetables/

Our world-famous steam locomotives will still be the same, but our journeys will be a little different.

Trial running

From July to December 2020 we successfully ran trains with the enhanced health and safety measures in place. Passengers continued to give us excellent reviews assuring us that we were maintaining our usually high standards. See the latest reviews here: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g1166969-d266676-Reviews-Romney_Hythe_and_Dymchurch_Railway-New_Romney_Kent_England.html

In addition to the enhancements mentioned we’ll be running trial steam train journeys on some weekends in March and April to familiarise the drivers with the new timetable allowing us to be confident in a safe re-opening. Please note that access to the stations will remain unavailable but if you spot us steaming around on your daily walk – give us a wave!

Re-opening week locomotives

The steam locomotives chosen for ‘Back on Track: re-opening week’ are locomotive number 2, Northern Chief, locomotive number 3, Southern Maid, locomotive number 6, Samson and locomotive number 9, Winston Churchill.

Thank you

We’d like to thank all of our fans who have shown so much support over the past 12 months. Whether you’ve brought a ‘Supporters’ item (https://rhdr.vticket.co.uk/section.php/23/1/support-us), helped us to fundraise (https://www.rhdr.org.uk/fundraising/) or simply provided motivation and a positive message for us online, we’re hugely thankful.

We’d also like to thank the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England for awarding us funds from the Culture Recovery Fund which has allowed us to continue with several projects such as station and track maintenance during our temporary closure period.

Thank you to the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway Association and their members for the continued support of the railway. In particular, we’d like to thank them for the financial contribution from the Winter Works Fund which has helped us to maintain our track and retain the unique skills of our staff over the winter months.