Money raised by the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway’s ‘Broadway – The last Mile’ share issue has exceeded the railway’s £1.25 million target – by £80,000.
Launched on April 6 last year, the GWSR’s share offer aimed to raise £1.25 million for the railway’s 3-mile long northern extension to the Cotswold village, including the construction of the new station.
According to the railway’s Financial Director, Chris Bristow, the target was reached on April 4, three weeks before the share offer closed on April 30, with the final amount raised by the share issue standing at £1,330,000.
However, the GWSR still requires an extra £200k to fund additional repairs to the section of embankment between Childswickham Road and Broadway in order to stabilise a long-standing slip, estimated to cost £400,000 (SR465).
Mr Bristow says: “We budgeted £80k originally and we have overshot the share issue by £80k. The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Trust has promised £120k so the other funds will have to come out of our strategic cash reserve.”
The cost of these repairs could delay other projects on the GWSR’s. Mr Bristow said: “Our next projects are a new steam locomotive department building like the brilliant new(ish) facility for our C&W department and a new S&T workshop. How quickly we get on with these depends on our cash position next Easter when Broadway is finally open.”
Nevertheless, Mr Bristow predicts that the railway’s passengers will grow by 20% as “a worst-case scenario” once Broadway opens on March 30 next year.
“Our railway will connect Cheltenham to Broadway, on an optimum length of line of 15 miles, taking our passengers through some of Britain’s most beautiful scenery.
“I think Broadway will open a new chapter in the GWSR’s history.”