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Watercress Line secures big grant for crucial bridge repairs
10:04am Wednesday 25th September 2013 in News
THE Watercress Line at Alresford has been granted £75,000 for crucial bridge repairs.
County council leader Roy Perry yesterday approved the grant for the Mid Hants Railway that runs from Alresford to Alton.
The money will repair the Boyneswood Road Bridge near Four Marks which needs major repairs estimated at £100,000 to the arch bridgework.
Some £50,000 will be given next month (OCT) and £25,000 next April.
The council has given several grants before: £4,000 in 2010 towards the first group of apprentices employed by the Watercress Line, and £95,000 in 1984 towards the cost of extending the railway line from Alresford to Alton.
The steam railway is in its 36th year of operation and has during that time received in excess of four million visitors. Current annual visitor numbers are around 125,000.
It employs around 50 full and part time staff with eight apprentices and 450 active volunteers. It is the largest tourist attraction in East Hampshire with a business turnover approaching £2.5m a year.
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