A HERITAGE railway line has received almost £300,000 to restart a wide-ranging project paused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway has received a Capital Kickstart Fund award of £296,000 for their Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey (YMJ) project.

The five-year initiative, launched in the spring of 2019, aims to preserve the railway’s historical infrastructure and assets and improve visitor services and experiences.

Covid-19 restrictions meant the NYMR had to defer some of the project to match funding.

This new grant means that it can now continue and fulfil one of the major elements of the project; the renewal of Goathland Station bridges.

Both bridges 24 and 25 will be replaced January 2022.

Chris Price, general manager at NYMR said: “Just last month we announced that our own emergency appeal to raise vital funds from the loss during the pandemic raised an incredible £440,000.

“These funds helped retain our people and ensured that the railway could operate in the future.

“We knew however, that although we had overcome such an enormous hurdle that more was needed to keep projects like Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey (YMJ) steaming ahead which is how the Capital Kickstart Award will support us.

“This project is significantly important as in addition to the major restorations of the Goathland Station bridges, it enables us to continue with building our conservation and heritage apprenticeship programmes, our lineside ecological conservation work, offer fuss free access for disabled visitors, grow our learning offer at Pickering and Goathland, and of course reach out to individuals, groups and communities to share our passion for the history of the region through steam travel.

“From the whole team at the railway, and all 300,000 of our annual visitors thank you.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “All over the country, this funding is protecting the venues that have shaped our history and make us proud of our communities, whilst safeguarding the livelihoods of the people that work in them.”

Other heritage sites in the region to receive grants from the fund include The Globe in Stockton and the Beamish Museum.