11th July, 2019 by Simon Bending
We submitted our bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund at the beginning of July for the next phase of our Heritage Project. The £77k project is seeking £57k from the lottery with the ESR contributing £20k towards upgrading and refitting the museum building (including major roof repairs), finishing the second half of the down platform, providing a tarmac surface and ramp at the signal box end. An important part of the project is also making our heritage attraction “dementia friendly’ via better access for people with mobility issues, improved signing and training our staff and volunteers to understand the needs of people living with dementia and their carers. This project aims to further widen the appeal of the ESR to people living with dementia, and if approved we would run events in 2020 targeted at this audience. To this end Lisa Pool our education officer has been working with care homes and the local Dementia Action Alliances (DAA) to develop the scope of the project for the National Lottery bid and has been successful in gathering a lot of local support for this initiative from care homes and other related organisations. We have had a lot of help from the local DAAs and also have been guided by the experience gained at the Mid Hants Railway who have pursued a similar project.
The Lottery normally take about 2 months to assess an application and so we are keeping our fingers crossed for what we hope will be a positive outcome in early September - watch this space!