The Churnet Valley Railway's Share Issue reached £250,000 on 4th May, only five weeks after being launched.
The next stage of Moorland & City Railways plans to restore services to the line between Leekbrook Junction and Stoke-on Trent received a major boost thanks to a share issue by the Churnet Valley Railway (CVR).
CVR is seeking to raise £450,000 in its fourth share issue, launched at a special ceremony on March 30th which attracted crowds of enthusiastic supporters.
The funds will be split equally between a project to build a new catering hub at Cheddleton Station and the purchase of shares in MCR. This purchase cements the relationship between the two organisations and will also lead to the CVR’s appointment of a heritage director on the MCR board.
Access to MCR’s line between Stoke and Cauldon Lowe – connecting to the Churnet Valley line at Leekbrook – will give the CVR the largest operating network of any UK heritage railway and is expected to attract visitors well in excess of its current figure of 75,000 annually.
The great success of the share issue has underlined local support for the revival of the line to Stoke, and its potential for freight and passenger traffic. Far outstripping the CVR’s previous share issues, the latest venture raised £40,000 in its first day and passed the £250,000 stage by the beginning of May.
The rush for shares was fuelled by an attractive incentive package for early purchases and Chancellor George Osborne’s decision to increase tax relief under the Enterprise Invesment Scheme, giving taxpayers a 30% refund on the cost of shares above £500.
CVR Chairman Anthony Hancock said the public response had been amazing. “We knew there was a great depth of support for the Railway locally, but this has surprised and delighted everyone.
“What we have achieved over recent years and what we now plan to do, especially extending services as far as Leek and Stoke, has really touched a chord with the public and hundreds of people want to be part of it.”
Churnet Valley Railway shares cost £1.00 each and are available in any amount from £100 upwards. To obtain a copy of the share prospectus and application form, contact the CVR on 01538 758490 email: email@example.com or go to www.churnet-valley-railway.co.uk
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