Ten million pounds for feasibility study, and ten thousand pounds to fund the Campaign.
Campaign for Borders Rail launches Onward To Carlisle fundraiser, and governments pledge funds for long awaited feasibility study to extend Borders Railway to Carlisle, as Campaign prepares to hold 20th anniversary AGM. These are the top stories for the Campaign’s latest newsletter.
Governments in Holyrood and Westminster have pledged to fund a cross-border feasibility study, as part of the Borderlands Growth Deal funding package. “Our biggest success since securing the reinstatement of the Borders Railway to Tweedbank,” said Campaign vice-chair Marion Short. “The Campaign’s efforts have helped win substantial funding for cross-border feasibility work on extending the line to Carlisle.”The long-term benefits of the Deal aim to reach all parts of the Borderlands area. Marion Short adds that rail development will be the most tangible way to deliver significant and lasting benefits for individuals, businesses and communities. “Those living in the Scottish Borders south of Tweedbank where currently communities do not enjoy a railway facility and residents there express a general feeling of social isolation,” she added.
In a busy newsletter, that’s unsurprisingly the lead story for the Campaign’s 1500 paying members. Those members will have an opportunity to express their views at the Campaign’s 20th Anniversary AGM and Celebration, being held in Edinburgh on 8 October.
“The generosity and commitment of the membership continues to impress me,” said Simon Walton, the Campaign chair. “They’ve consistently contributed to the running of the Campaign, but the financial burden of engaging with governments and agencies up and down the country cannot be borne solely but those dedicated individuals. We have ten times that number who informally support the Campaign, so we’ve launched a wider fundraising initiative to let that wider body offer support, even if they don’t feel they can commit to full membership.”
The Onward To Carlisle Fund is hosted by JustGiving.com with a target of £10,000 aimed at underwriting the Campaign’s engagement with stakeholders as the project moves through the critical feasibility study phase. “We are entirely voluntary, and we’re lobbying for the biggest development project in Britain without any paid officers,” said Simon Walton. “That’s not a boast, it’s a tribute to the commitment of the individuals involved with the Campaigner for Borders Rail. After twenty years, they deserve a celebration, and not a penny raised will even go towards paying for so much as the cake.”
Operations “13 minutes from Longtown”
Also in edition 60, there’s an in-depth look at the technicalities of operating an extended Borders Railway, by CBR’s Robert Drysdale. Speaking of a journey from Edinburgh, he said: “We estimate that a full-line run through to Carlisle would take around one hour and 50 minutes. At the south end of the line, journey times to Carlisle would be around 48 minutes from Hawick, 25 minutesfrom Newcastleton and 13 minutes from Longtown.”
South Borders committee member Greg Cuthbert details the extensive programme of Campaign liaison, from community and commerce, to local council and ministerial committee briefings. “We carry on campaigning to see improvements in educational choice, social inclusion and employment prospects, and all the other opportunities that will come with the return of the railway,” he said, speaking as a guest of Stobart Group at the opening of Carlisle Lake District Airport.Newsletter 60 is attached.
[Newsletter 60 has been circulated to members of Campaign for Borders Rail]
PRESS CONTACT: Simon Walton 07540 313018