Operation Undercover -
18 January 2003
We are very pleased to be able to announce that the Railway has now exchanged contracts to purchase the enlarged Woodpax site. Completion is set for Wednesday 26th March 2003. This gives us two months to raise the total purchase price, which (with expenses, Stamp Duty etc) is a total of just under £320,000.
The purchase has been agreed by the Board of Bluebell Railway Plc following the strong recommendation of the Society Trustees. The project received immense support from Members when first announced in January last year, and we will be writing in the next few days to all those (around 600 in all) who pledged support to ask for your donations. We intend to collect all cash donations whether lump sums or standing orders through a new account opened by the Bluebell Railway Trust. We urge members who are taxpayers to use the Gift Aid scheme. By doing so, we will be able to reclaim (at no cost to you) a further 28% of the value of your donations from the Inland Revenue. Higher rate taxpayers are able to claim valuable further tax relief themselves on all such donations given through the scheme. All that is needed is to sign the Gift Aid declaration on the donation form.
Members who have offered loans will be asked to pay these direct to the Society as Gift Aid does not attach to loans.
A further appeal will be launched shortly addressed to all members and shareholders of the Railway who have not already offered support. The appeal will be widened over the next few weeks to include as many heritage railway enthusiasts as possible. Further fundraising activities are planned at Branch Line Weekend on 22nd / 23rd February and at Easter, when the model of the proposed building (photos below) will be on display. We shall announce details in due course.
Success is entirely dependant on the extent to which we as members are prepared to support this important project. The total cost to buy the land and build the new storage building is currently estimated at £1.6 million. Our application to the Heritage Lottery Fund is now in active preparation and we hope to be able to lodge this in the next few months. If we are successful in that application, we will be expected to fund at least 25% of the total cost, ie £400,000. Every pound raised by us now will count as a contribution to that funding obligation and could obtain for us a further three pounds from the HLF in due course.
If you have not already offered to assist with this appeal, please consider doing so now. Your support will be warmly welcomed.
The photos shows the model of the building we hope to build on the new site.
Donations to the Appeal can be sent on this form which can be printed out and sent in. Those who have previously pledged money will be sent forms specific to their pledges.
Credit and debit card donations can be made online to the Bluebell Railway Trust through GiveNow.org - in this case please also write (or e-mail Richard Salmon) to confirm that the donation via this route is for Operation Undercover.
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Last updated 18 January 2003 by Richard Salmon
Text provided by Nicholas Pryor.
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