THE Great Central Railway’s management has been left stunned after the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) board of trustees informed them on December 13 it will no longer be supporting the project for a new railway museum at Leicester North.
The HLF earmarked more than £9.5million for the museum project in 2015, which was to be a joint partnership between the GCR, Leicester City Council and the National Railway Museum.
The funding was to be subject to a Stage Two submission, which was being prepared.
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The HLF has cited concerns over the progress of the development of the project and perceived delivery risks, including extended timescales, future operational costs and management arrangements, plus the potential for costs to increase further as the primary reasons for its funding U-turn.
“We were genuinely astonished to hear the news about the HLF’s decision and I have to question their rationale,” said GCR managing director Michael Gough.
“Since joining the GCR in July of this year, I have been highly impressed by the support the project had from the city mayor and his team, and I was confident the strength of our combined proposal would be a winning solution.
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