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Route of the Narrow Gauge Railway

Here at “MARCH” we are constantly looking at ways of improving the Heritage Centre, Nature Trail and Railway. Our volunteers work tirelessly to maintain, improve and extend the site. We have achieved so much that on January 25th, 2017 HRH The Prince of Wales chose to visit and acknowledge the amazing work of our volunteers.

Workshop Extension Appeal

The Heritage Centre’s Railway Museum Building was constructed in 2016 and at that time it served as both an exhibition and a restoration area. This was not ideal because it was difficult to keep museum exhibits free from the dust and dirt from restoration projects. It was also often necessary for the restoration section of the building to be physically fenced off from the general public for health and safety reasons.

Two years later we were fortunate enough to be able to resolve most of our problems with the construction of the Workshop attached to the west side of the Railway Museum, which operates quite separately. Visitors to the museum can look into the Workshop via an observation window on the west wall.

At present the workshop acts as

  • A maintenance area for our 0-4-0 steam engine ‘Colin McAndrew’
  • A restoration area for the 1834 Robert Stephenson Lifting Bridge
  • A workroom for a host of other restoration jobs.

 
We now need more room in the workshop

This will permit us to relocate our two narrow gauge diesel locomotives where they can be more effectively looked after. We hope that better facilities will also allow us to attract visiting narrow gauge working steam locomotives and will offer the possibility in the near future of short passenger rides around the quarry bottom garden area. To achieve this we want to add a Workshop Extension with a footprint of approximately 28 square metres, which if successful, would underpin our ability to be one of the few places where you can see both narrow and standard gauge railways operating alongside each other.
Workshop extension plans

The cost of this extension will be around £14,000 and, as always, our volunteers will undertake as much of the work as possible to keep costs down. We need your donation to help raise the money needed to build the extension!

Our Match Funding Offer. We are now asking for your help in raising just £7,000! A project supporter has very kindly offered to match all donations received up to a value of £7000! This means that your donation is worth double the amount you are donating, every £10 you donate becomes £20, every £100 becomes £200, and so on.

This latest development can then be completed in just a few weeks after the necessary planning permission has been granted.

The Heritage Centre has repeatedly proven its ability to deliver projects both to budget and on time and it has consequently gained both local and national recognition. We are hoping that Heritage Centre visitors will continue to show their appreciation for what we are creating.

If you wish to assist with the Workshop Extension Appeal, then the following options are available:

  • Smaller donations by cash can be made in our donation boxes, either on the counter in Granite’s or at the top of the path from the patio that leads to the interest areas of the site.
  • Larger donations can be made by cheque, made out to “MARCH” (Mountsorrel And Rothley Community Heritage Centre), and can be handed in at the Heritage Centre or posted to the Mountsorrel and Rothley Community Heritage Centre (MARCH), 240 Swithland Lane, Rothley, Leicester LE7 7UE.
  • Direct donations to MARCH via internet transfer are also welcome. If you would like to donate in this way, please email Malcolm Law at donate.2020@heritage-centre.co.uk and he will explain what to do.
  • If you wish to make a donation plus Gift Aid then we are happy to accept these provided the donation is for £25 or more. This is because we have to use the outside services of the David Clarke Railway Trust (Registered Charity 1104839) to administer Gift Aid donations. You can download our Donation Form and please email Malcolm Law at donate.2020@heritage-centre.co.uk if you have any queries.
  • Finally, you can also donate via our GoFundMe page at https://gofund.me/6dd414a5 or by clicking the button below

 

Thank you very much for your support!

What have we got planned after that?

If we can successfully reach this target we will move on to complete the financing of the restoration of the 1834 Robert Stephenson Lifting Bridge. The remnant bridge parts have been donated by Leicester City Council and can be seen in the workshop. The footings for the bridge are already being created in the sidings outside the workshop. But despite having already secured two substantial grants we still have some way to go with financing the Lift Bridge project.

Another supporter has provided a separate and substantial match funding offer for the bridge restoration, provided the workshop extension appeal is successful. This emphasises how important the workshop extension appeal is to the future development of the site.

If you love what you see at the Heritage Centre we very much hope you will be able to support our appeal by making a donation. If you require any further information or have any queries about what is envisaged, then please do not hesitate to ask.