The SVR needs your help!
Please take a moment to read this message from the Chairman of the Severn Valley Railway.
The unprecedented situation we all face with the Coronavirus pandemic is changing on a daily basis. I sincerely hope that you are well and managing to cope with the necessary restrictions that have been placed on us by the Government.
This crisis has hit the Severn Valley Railway very hard. With the Railway now closed, our income from visitors has disappeared. We don’t know how long this situation will continue. Furthermore, it comes on the back of the flooding a few weeks ago, and the fact that we had to close the line between Kidderminster and Bewdley because of essential repairs to Falling Sands Viaduct. The consequent 75% drop in passengers in our first weeks of operation this year meant we were already up against things.
The SVR is fighting for its survival, and we need to ensure the SVR can stay afloat in the weeks and months to come, so that when the restrictions are lifted, we’ll be able to re-emerge as one of the country’s leading heritage railways.
We will take advantage of the Government scheme to underwrite 80% of salary costs, and have already put most of our paid staff on furlough. No business rates will be payable for the next year.
But even with these measures, we need to find £250,000 to keep the Railway ticking over for the next three months. For the SVR to get through this, we must:
– Maintain minimal staff for essential operational duties
– Ensure the security of our stations and engineering workshops and protect our world-class heritage rolling stock
– Carry out essential administration tasks related to the Railway
– Retain workers with specialist heritage skills
– Develop our recovery strategy so we’re ready to open up when the time is right
At this time of national emergency and widespread worry, it is difficult to ask for your help. However, without it our SVR may not survive. Please will you donate to our Emergency Appeal to protect the Railway during this crisis, and to make sure it’s in good shape to become operational again as soon as possible? Alternatively, you may wish to buy SVR shares, or add to your existing shareholding. And we’re selling Loyalty Passes ready for when the Railway reopens.
Hundreds of people have already donated, and if you are one of these, please accept my deepest thanks. Details of how to donate and buy shares are below, and every pound will count towards saving the SVR.
How to donate:
– Through our website using a credit or debit card: svr.co.uk/emergency
– Phone 01562 757902 to make a phone donation
– Make a bank transfer to SVR (Holdings) Plc Sort code 40-26-08, Acc No 01330608 (please let us know you have made a bank transfer by phoning 01562 757902 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
– Send a cheque made payable to SVR (Holdings) Plc to SVR, One Comberton Place, Kidderminster, DY10 1QR (please include your name and address)
Other immediate support:
– To purchase SVR Shares, please download the application form here: svr.co.uk/shares
– Loyalty Passes can be purchased, and we’ll date them from when we reopen.
Please keep safe and well, and take comfort in the thought that together we will make sure this wonderful heritage railway will be back in service in the future.
Thank you for your support in our time of need,
Nick Paul CBE, Chairman SVR