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Operation Undercover -

27 March 2003

You will no doubt be pleased to hear that we were able to complete the purchase of the site (as shown on the plan below) successfully yesterday.

Site plan

As a result of the amazing generosity of Bluebell members and shareholders, we have raised over £370,000 so far. This includes a substantial element of Gift Aid which will have to be recovered from the Inland Revenue over the next few months. However, the cash available to us for completion was sufficient to pay for the land and we have only had to ask for a small short term "bridge" from the Plc while we await recovery of Gift Aid.

We are now moving on to work on the application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. We are drawing up an account of the appeal and will report on what has been received and how it has been spent at the AGM in May.

Some work will take place on the new site over the summer to fence it off and make new access ways. Other than that, we will leave it untouched until the result of our application to the HLF is known. A realistic timetable for the new building to open (assuming we are successful) is 3 years from now.

Photo of model

To everyone who contributed to the appeal, thanks for your support. There is still a long way to go to raise the remaining part of our funding obligation, and we will be asking members to consider support by standing orders to help fund the ongoing development work.

Nicholas Pryor

Photo of model

The photos above shows the model of the outline building plan, although changes have already been proposed, and further discussions with interested parties on the railway continue, working towards agreeing a firm building design.

Donations to the Appeal can be sent on this form which can be printed out and sent in. Those who have previously pledged money were sent forms specific to their pledges.

We still need donations to enable us to repay interest-free loans, and to provide parternership funding for an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the costs of building a stock storage and display shed on the new land. The money donated towards the land purchase counts towards our partnership funding, but we need to raise more to achieve our 25% contribution towards the overall project.

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