Watercress Line Reaches National Lottery Award Finals


2014 - Watercress Railway - Ropley - Southern Railway Schools class - 925 Cheltenham & 850 Lord NelsonGood evening

Today it was announced that the Mid Hants Mind The Gap apprenticeship project is one of seven finalists in the Heritage category of the 2015 National Lottery Awards!

The Mind the Gap project aims to preserve the railway line by providing 14 young people with two-year apprenticeships in heritage engineering and carpentry. Without these apprenticeships the skills and knowledge required to maintain the original steam engines and carriages would be lost, as would the important heritage and community asset that is the Watercress Line. Further education institutions do not offer the necessary training in this form of heritage engineering and so this project is offering skills and knowledge to a new and willing generation of young people, which are also transferable to the modern workplace. To date, a total of 450 people have volunteered to help preserve the railway.

Derek Simmonds of the Mind the Gap project says: “We are very proud of our Mind the Gap project and are delighted that we have made it through to the finals of the National Lottery Awards. Without National Lottery funding we would not have been able to run the project and help secure the heritage of the Watercress Line for future generations. Please vote for us, as it would be so wonderful to receive the national recognition that this project, and all our fantastic apprentices, deserve.”

The line is competing against six others in the Best Heritage Project category. Winners will receive a £2,000 cash prize to support their project and will appear at a star studded BBC1 event! Public voting closes on 29 July so please vote for us online using the link below or call 0844 836 9673!

So please vote using the link below, its free and the prize money would help the railway continue its fantastic work.

Vote Now!