Swanage attractions receive Easter gift from government

A welcome cash boost of over £200,000 has been awarded to Swanage Railway and Durlston Country Park from the UK Government’s Culture Recovery Fund to help them reopen after lockdown.

Swanage Railway has received a grant of £189,200, while Durlston Country Park was given £35,400.

Durlston Castle and reopening sign

Durlston Castle’s Seventh Wave restaurant is preparing to open soon for al fresco dining

Billions of pounds to good causes

The money is part of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, administered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It has so far given billions of pounds to good causes across the country to support them throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

This round of grants is targeted at helping them recover and re-open after the most recent period of closure.

Steam train passing Corfe castle
Andrew PM Wright

Swanage Railway steam locomotive passing Corfe Castle on a test journey in preparation for full reopening

Swanage Railway is now on track to restart train trips

Swanage Railway is now on track to restart train trips on Monday 12th April 2021, after being closed for three months. It says that the grant will be used to pay for staff costs, locomotive hire, coal, water, fuel for diesel locomotives, Covid-19 cleaning, insurance and marketing costs.

Swanage Railway’s fund-raising chairman, Randy Coldham said:

“The grant is vital in helping the Swanage Railway on its road to recovery – providing a Covid-safe service to the people of the Isle of Purbeck and to the many visitors we expect this summer.”

View towards Durlston Castle

New views towards Durlston Castle have opened up due to careful management of the woodland areas

“Durlston has been of huge importance to the wellbeing of local residents”

Dorset Council’s Durlston Country Park in Swanage has received a grant of £35,400 from the government. While the grounds have remained open for local residents during lockdown, the restaurant, shop, gallery and learning centre have all remained closed during lockdown.

Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment said:

“Throughout the pandemic, Durlston has been of huge importance to the wellbeing of local residents. This funding will offer a brilliant boost, to make sure that this unique place can continue to offer fantastic experiences to visitors, while protecting the important heritage which Durlston has to offer”

Play trail at Durlston Castle

During lockdown the Durlston rangers have continued to work hard and part of that, has been to develop the children’s play trail

Further information

  • To view the new Swanage Railway timetable and to book train tickets for the service from Monday 12th April 2021 visit its website
  • More about Durlston Country Park and its full reopening details are on its website

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