Summer plans for Bennerley Viaduct project

Published on: Thursday, 14th March 2019

Railway Paths Limited and the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct have made a joint announcement this week bringing cheer to everyone who wants to see a secure future and a new life for the “Iron Giant” of the Erewash valley.

After a recent meeting of the RPL board of trustees, Will Haynes, Principal Officer, made this statement. “Subject to securing the necessary planning and listed building consent, and meeting the fundraising target, we hope to be able to start the project towards the end of this summer.  We are in the process of submitting planning and listed building consent applications to Broxtowe and Erewash Borough Councils, which is a crucial step in progressing the project.

Our fundraising activity is going well, although we still have a way to go.  We are very grateful to those funders who have supported the project so far including, Historic England, the Railway Heritage Trust, the HB Allen Charitable Trust, the Charles Hayward Foundation, Broxtowe Borough Council and the Pilgrim Trust.  The mobilisation of widespread support for the project by the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct has been invaluable in the progress so far and will be key in the delivery of the project.

Our two organisations share the vision to bring the viaduct back into use for the benefit of the public.”

This announcement comes just a few weeks after an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct at which members voted unanimously to convert the group into a registered charity.  The committee is now in the process of applying to the Charity Commission for permission to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).  

Jeff Wynch, chair of the Friends group, said: “CIO status will mean that we can operate in a more business-like way in future, employing staff, owning property and so on.  We’ll also have more scope for securing funding from a wide range of sources to take the project even further in years to come.  The positive news about the RPL project is brilliant and we are looking forward to working with RPL in its delivery.  There are lots of ways our volunteers can make a contribution, and I hope this announcement will spur on more people to join in.

Bringing about a project this size is no easy matter, and I would like to pay tribute to Bill Tomson of RPL for all the work he has put in.  Fundraising and planning applications are only part of the job.  Bill has also had to deal with legal issues, landowners, ecological concerns, all kinds of surveys and tenders for contracts.”

The FoBV programme of workdays is well under way again.  The capacity of the group has been increased by a community grant this year from Erewash Borough Council to fund the purchase of new equipment and protective clothing.  The next workday will be held on Saturday, March 30th, starting at 10am.  The gate on Newton’s Lane will be open for vehicle access.  “New volunteers are always welcome,” said the chairman.   The next meeting of the Friends will be their AGM at 7pm on Monday 15th April at the Gate Inn, Awsworth.

Share this story:

Tell us YOUR news...

If there's something happening in your area that matters to you and feel that the rest of the borough needs to know about it?