Full steam ahead for the reconnection of the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path as funding is announced

Press release 
5 December 2018

A £7.9 million funding package has been agreed to allow work to start on the final phase of reconnecting the Keswick to Threlkeld multi user trail which was severely damaged in Storm Desmond three years ago to the day (5 December).

Today is an important milestone in this complex project which has required significant work to get to this stage, and it is fitting that key funding partners and local users gathered to mark this development exactly three years since the fateful storm.

Funding has been approved so far from Highways England and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Additionally, community fundraising by the Lake District Foundation has resulted in a £130,000 donation all which will enable the project to go ahead.

Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of Lake District National Park said: “Storm Desmond caused unprecedented amounts of damage to communities, trails and bridges across the national park. This particular trail offers a great family-friendly, traffic-free route from town to village, it will be fully accessible to many people, such as cyclists, walkers and runners. It has taken some time but we have always been fully committed to making sure that it is reconnected for the benefit of all.

“Local fundraising has played a huge part in ensuring that this project can go ahead, demonstrating the strength of public feeling about this important trail. We’re thrilled that we now have the money in place to allow work to go ahead to complete the full reconnection of the Keswick to Threlkeld trail and make the route more resilient along the way.”

Construction contracts are currently out to tender and the trail construction partners will be announced in the near future. The aim is to start work in the New Year and have the route fully reopened within two years.

Highways England has committed a significant portion of the funding to allow this project to progress.

Bruce Parker, Highways England’s head of planning and development for the North West, said: “We’re delighted to be able to provide almost half the £7.9 million needed to restore and enhance the link between Keswick and Threlkeld, which was so badly damaged in Storm Desmond exactly three years ago and are looking forward to the re-construction work getting underway in the New Year.

“Highways England has set aside £250 million for projects like this focusing on supporting pedestrian, cyclist and equestrian users of the road network.  This money along with other special funds – for example supporting growth and housing and environmental improvements – is enabling us to provide environmental, social and economic benefits to the people, communities and businesses who live and work alongside our strategic road network.”

Sarah Swindley, CEO, Lake District Foundation said: “We ran a fundraising initiative this year and were completely blown away by the generosity of the local community and visitors to the area. We look forward to seeing the work start and progress over the next two years.”

During Storm Desmond, on 5 December 2015, two bridges that cross the River Greta and around 200 metres of path were completely washed away during the worst floods the county has seen and Rawsome Bridge was also later closed to ensure public safety.

Since then, the Lake District National Park has been working with key partners from the public and voluntary sectors on a plan to fully reconnect the route. As part of this work, a value for money study was undertaken and concluded that the restoration of the route could bring back about £2 million a year to the local economy.

This next phase will ensure the entire route will be reconnected and can once again be enjoyed by the local community and visitors to the area.

Photo shows key partners gathered at Brundholme where work will start along with some of the locals who are looking forward to the trail being reconnected.

L- R Richard Leafe LDNPA, Jonathan Reade, Highways England, Sarah Swindley, Lake District Foundation, Brittany Mason from ERDF and Amos Doran, Keswick Bikes.

Find out more information on www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/keswickrailway

Charity Auction Success for the Lake District Foundation

The Lake District Foundation are celebrating after hosting their first ever charity auction on Friday evening to raise funds for the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path reinstatement.

The evening was held at the Lodore Falls Hotel and raised over £4,000 from the 19 lots available on the night and still counting. There were over 90 guests who attended the evening from all over the UK, including special guests Alan Hinkes OBE, Ricky Lightfoot and Sean Conway.

Sarah Swindley, Director of the Lake District Foundation was thrilled with the fundraising event; she said

We are absolutely delighted with how the evening went and how much support the Lake District Foundation has had, to make our first ever charity auction happen. We’d like to say a huge thank-you to everyone involved from the businesses and individuals who donated prizes through to those who attended and bid for items on the night.  We are pleased the evening has helped generate funds for the Keswick to Threlkeld path and raise further awareness of the ongoing campaign.”

PFK Auctions, one of the oldest auction houses in the region, ran the bidding on the night. The most popular lots included a mountaineering day with Alan Hinkes, an adventure day with Sean Conway and a running experience with Ricky Lightfoot. The 3 bespoke bracelets made by Brian Fulton from Fulton Jewellers in Keswick,  Alan Stones framed original lithograph and a collectors set of Lake District Pound notes also raised a significant amount on the evening.

For those who were unable to make the evening, there is still an opportunity to bid for special items online at www.32auctions.com/keswicktothrelkeld until 30th June. The lots include a bespoke 70’s Herdy, a Fell Top Assessor for the Day experience, a VIP behind the scenes tour at Bremont HQ with luxury accommodation in Henley and even the chance to sponsor oaks trees with a plaque along the route of the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path.

The funds raised will go towards reconnecting the Keswick to Threlkeld railway path, some parts of which were severely damaged during the floods in 2015.

Two of the old railway bridges that crossed the River Greta were washed away and one bridge left at risk of collapse and around 200 metres of the path surface disappeared into the floodwaters.

In December 2017 the LDNPA were delighted to announce a major funding boost to the project – a £2.5 million grant from Highways England and a partnership with the Lake District Foundation to jointly fundraise the shortfall of around £3 million.

 

Charity Auction Announced for the Keswick to Threlkeld Old Railway Path

The Lake District Foundation is hosting an incredible ‘money-can’t-buy’ auction to raise funds for the reinstatement of the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path.

The auction will be held on Friday 8 June at one of the finest hotels in Cumbria, the luxurious Lodore Falls Hotel on the shores of Derwentwater in Borrowdale. The evening will offer the opportunity to bid for exclusive ‘money-can’t-buy’ prizes and experiences. Guests will enjoy a scrumptious four-course meal in the company of a number of national outdoor legends, whilst raising funds for a path with local and national interest.

The auction is set to be an incredibly prestigious event, especially with support from one of the oldest auction houses in the region, PFK Auctioneers who will be running the bidding on the night.

Michael Roberts, Manager of PFK Auctioneers saidWe have a long history of hosting successful auctions and with over 140 years’ experience we know the auction planned for the Lake District Foundation will be exceptional. We are confident the lots on offer will be of interest to all walks of life and are excited to be part of the evening to raise funds for a much loved and well used Lake District path”.

The prizes on offer will provide unique experiences and magical moments you never thought possible, to be shared with family and friends as surprises, gifts and treats. The most important part of the event is that the funds raised all go support the fundraising campaign for the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path.

Caroline Hoppé, Campaign and Event Manager from the Lake District Foundation said the fundraising starts before you even get to the auction, “We are delighted to share that when you buy your ticket for the evening it includes a £20 donation towards the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path. We’d like to thank you in advance for your support. The auction prizes will be revealed soon, but in the meantime we encourage you to buy your ticket now so you don’t miss out on this fabulous evening to come.”

Tickets are £50 per person or you can take a table of 12 and can be purchased at https://k2tcharityauction.eventbrite.com. If you would like to offer a prize or have any questions contact Caroline Hoppé, Campaign and Event Manager from the Lake District Foundation via caroline.hoppe@www.lakedistrictfoundation.org or call 01539 822622.

The funds raised will go towards reconnecting the Keswick to Threlkeld railway path, some parts of which were severely damaged during the floods in 2015.

Two of the old railway bridges that crossed the River Greta were washed away, one bridge was left at risk of collapse and around 200 metres of the path surface disappeared into the floodwaters.

In December 2017 the LDNPA were delighted to announce a major funding boost to the project – a £2.5 million grant from Highways England and a partnership with the Lake District Foundation to jointly fundraise the shortfall of around £3 million.

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