The Vale of Rheidol Railway, Aberystwyth has recently had the green light for European Funding meaning that work will now start on a new station and multifunction display facility.
EU funding of £1.6 million is being invested in the development through the Welsh Government’s Tourism Attractor Destination programme, led by Visit Wales, which aims to create 13 must see destinations across Wales.
Titled “Wales to the World” it will see the current terminus at Park Avenue, Aberystwyth transformed into an authentic Great Western Railway 1930’s style station with the creation of a multifunction display and entertainment facility and new café within the former steam locomotive shed.
Alongside these developments, a new carriage storage shed will be built allowing the priceless collection of historic railway carriages to be stored in a protected environment and aid their long term conservation. Since the 1980’s, the railway has been collecting steam locomotives from around the world. This collection is unrivalled containing many locomotives which are now lost elsewhere. These locomotives have never been on public display.
Minister for Culture Toruism and Sport, Lord Elis Thomas, said:
“Our aim through the Tourism Attractor Destination programme is to focus efforts and investment on key projects in each region so we have a real impact on Wales’ profile in this globally competitive market. This development will provide mid Wales with a major visitor attraction, and I’m delighted that the funding is helping the team to realise a goal of bringing this unrivalled collection of heritage railway carriages together for all to see and appreciate.”
Robert Gambrill CEO Vale of Rheidol Railway:
“This package of work is highly significant in the story of the Vale of Rheidol Railway and we hope it will see more passengers coming to visit what is a hidden gem in mid Wales. With the help of Visit Wales we are creating a tourist experience that will encourage more people to venture to the area as well as the regular tourist hot spots in Wales.
“Our team at the railway must be thanked for all the behind the scenes work which has already gone into the design of the project. Also Ceredigion Council who have allowed us to achieve the goals of building the station also deserve praise for their efforts.
“We, as a railway hope that everyone joins us in this exciting journey of bringing a 1930’s station back to Aberystwyth”.
In total, the Tourism Attractor Destination programme has been approved with £27.7m ERDF towards a total project cost of £61.8m that will see thirteen strategic infrastructure projects realised up to 2021.