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GCR fails in bid for lottery money

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by London Bridge, May 28, 2014.

  1. fergusmacg

    fergusmacg Resident of Nat Pres

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    I don't get your point Keith - I didn't say it lacked value, my opinion was that with it being aprox 10x the cost of the scheme on the Isle of W & it didn't seam 'value for money' to me - quite a difference. More importantly the HLF are the decision makers, and not anyone on here will make any difference to that process.

    To get a 'result' a full rethink is required to meet the needs of both the GCR and the NRM as at the moment neither are being met?
     
  2. mogulb

    mogulb New Member

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    If the HLF do not like the look of the GCR/NRM proposal why have they suggested that it is resubmitted later in the year?

    As to trying to compare the IOW project to the GCR proposal, to show it is poor value for money, bit like comparing chalk and cheese. Totally different buildings and concepts.
    Taking this thought further if the RVP can build a shed at Swithland for around £200k for 12 standard length coaches, how come it costs £1.2m for something 50% bigger on the IOW. Yes the IOW project is a great deal more than just storage with considerable public access etc but As far as I know nobody has said the IOW project is poor value for money.
     
  3. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Surely if there's space for the things to be stored outside there's enough space to put a basic roof and walls round, wouldn't that suffice, at least for now, especially as it would be a lot cheaper?
     
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  4. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    No you didn't say it lacked value, you said the HLF understood the negativity to the scheme and that is why they rejected it. If this was true then the HLF would have rejected the scheme as having low value due to lack of support/vocal opposition, not on costs grounds.

    My point is that the HLF have not mentioned any negativity to the scheme, merely that they did not have enough money at the time to support it, that's why the GCR have been asked to resubmit. Incidentally, is there any evidence of negativity to the proposal - the small numbers (10-20?) showing opposition on this forum can hardly be taken as representative of the railway community or of the local or national communities who might use the facility.

    Keith
     
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  5. simon

    simon Resident of Nat Pres

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    Surely it is up to the Bowes to put in their own bid, if they so desire?
     
  6. Anthony Coulls

    Anthony Coulls Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Keith, you've said everything I needed to. This is where using subjective and emotive phrases like "fails" and "reject" isn't necessarily helpful. GCR have been asked to resubmit and thus that's not an outright fail.
     
  7. Peter Hall

    Peter Hall Guest

    I have, since the 1980's, been making rough plans of where rolling stock exhibits are positioned at York. These reveal that over the years the number undercover has reduced and the space they once occupied has been taken for other purposes. Whilst some of this space has been used to display none rolling stock and give visitors greater access, much, as others have mentioned, has been taken for commercial and corporate activities. Following the various culls and dispersions of recent years it is my view that there is enough space at York to accommodate all the National Collection (as opposed to working plant) vehicles currently outside undercover if some of the space lost in recent times was taken back.

    The dilemma of outdoor storage is though something that was highlighted by Andrew Dow in his tenure as museum head twenty of so years ago. It appears that solving it was one of his priorities and although his plans to move the Royal Train shed from Wolverton to York, brick by brick, was possibly over ambitious it did lay the seeds for Shildon. Unfortunately Shildon appears to suffer from similar problems to York in that space that could be used for undercover storage is used for other activities. This though is probably more related to Shildon becoming a museum in its own right rather than a storage facility with occasional access (akin to the Acton Depot of the LT Museum) as it appears was the original intention.

    York and Shildon can not though accommodate all the collection which is why much is housed elsewhere but not all of this is on public view or under cover. Leicester North would have helped and in that respect it is regrettable that it is not going ahead. As I have mentioned before, all accommodation has on going costs and these have to be funded. The space taken by commercial and corporate activities at York and Shildon is an unfortunate necessity to pay the bills. Would though Leicester North be able to pay the bills long term? Just look at what has happened at Swindon. Steam museum has had to do like York and Shildon and turn over display areas to corporate use in order to pay the bills.

    Leicester and the surrounds might be a large population centre but do locals visit local museums? To be busy a museum has to be a destination in itself (e.g. Beamish) or located in a tourist hot spot which York is and Leicester and Swindon are not. You don't see excursion trains running to Leicester and Swindon but they do run to York, Canterbury and Bath.
     
  8. Chris86

    Chris86 Member

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    I have been following this with interest as the GCR used to be my 'local' line.

    Whilst it is a shame that this has not gone ahead it does seem to me that a railway museum in Leicester is in many ways not an ideal place, as mentioned above its hardly a 'hotspot' for people to visit. Certainly the Leicester North station site (and the surrounding area....) is not exactly an inspiring location- there is little else close by to draw in visitors.

    On the plus side- it is in the middle of the country and has pretty good road links.

    Chris
     
  9. simon

    simon Resident of Nat Pres

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    The first excursion train, as organised by Thomas Cook, ran from Leicester to Loughborough in 1841. :)
     
  10. oddsocks

    oddsocks Well-Known Member

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    A steam hauled excursion to Leicester, 29/09/2001:- 35005_1_@_Leicester_29.09.2001_2.jpg
     
  11. 5944

    5944 Resident of Nat Pres

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    There's not a lot else at Shildon, and it's in the middle of nowhere, not near a major city, yet seems to be doing pretty well.
     
  12. Anthony Coulls

    Anthony Coulls Well-Known Member

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    Yep, averaging over 200,000 visitors a year for the last 6-7 years; does well for the local economy. Let's not forget the knock on effect of that.
     
  13. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The fact that the HLF have suggested a re-submission does not mean that they are in agreement with the scheme as proposed. they are saying that there is merit in the proposal but not in what is being proposed. In essence, it is " The idea is good but the delivery isn't. Go away and have a rethink then re-submit."
    I once put in for a scheme worth £230K. I got a similar response and second time around got £730K for a much bolder scheme that better ticked all the boxes.
     
  14. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Again, I will quote the HLF spokeperson (via the BBC):

    A statement from the Heritage Lottery Fund said: "Demand for 2014 was higher than ever and the success rate was only 30% this year.
    "Unfortunately we did not have enough money to support all the applications we looked at on the day."

    The issue was the amount of money in the pot. If you have 10 deserving and fully thought out projects of £1M each and there's only £6M in the pot, it's pretty obvious that you have to reject some of them. It doesn't mean that the 4 rejected projects need a rethink, just a resubmission when the pot has been refilled.

    Keith
     
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  15. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    That's not necessarily quite the whole story though. It is true that the pot refills each year, but there is also a constant flow of new projects, which may well be equally deserving or well thought out. As I understand, the odds are always about one in three for big projects - there is always more demand than money, it is not just a quirk in this funding round. (It would be more odd if that wasn't true).

    That said, a successful resubmission, with a tweaked project gaining funding second time round, is by no means unknown.

    Tom
     
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  16. timmydunn

    timmydunn Member

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    I'm surprised to see the phrases

    Unfortunately Shildon appears to suffer from similar problems to York in that space that could be used for undercover storage is used for other activities.
    and
    The space taken by commercial and corporate activities at York and Shildon is an unfortunate necessity to pay the bills.

    be used - I think the majority of people realise that a railway museum isn't about providing a shed of old iron: it's about providing an experience, interpretation, activities and facilities that the 21st century visitor demands. I can't think of any space at Shildon or York that'd be better used by cramming another engine or piece of stock in. Museums aren't just about stuffing objects in (although I do love the Warehouse at York) - they're about using objects to tell stories that help people understand.

    The Leicester project is a laudable one, gives more people the chance to see stuff from the National Collection and the link with the "mainline" outside is one that was going to enable a proper joined-up story. I forget the percentage of objects in the collection that the NRM has on display (or are at least accessible by appointment) around the UK, but it's higher than most museums, and indeed far above the % of most national museums such as Science Museum. There's not much iron in the care of NRM at Wroughton - because they've had the foresight to spread it around the country and let others see it in context. The NRM is looked up to by a large number of people in the museums world because of the access to objects that it has managed to provide. There's not necessarily enough money to do everything they want - but they're doing the best they can in a world where there's an ever-decreasing amount of money available for arts and heritage projects.

    I really hope the round two of applications is successful. It'll bring some of the National Collection to a new audience - people who wouldn't have travelled all the way to York. Yes, a lot of railway types see York as our Mecca; our spiritual museum home - and it's important to those railway types that all of the icons are there. But your average family doesn't necessarily want to travel to York to see ALL THE TRAINS, they'll travel perhaps half that distance to see a preserved railway and a great museum with a dozen or so large lumps of iron and a lot more besides - because it's got a story to tell that's relevant to them, and has quite enough stuff in it to make it worthwhile.

    Also remember that by taking some of the well-known exhibits from Shildon and York and putting them into Leicester will free up space in the former places to bring more stuff indoors, put them on display, give them interpretation and tell their stories.

    Then you'll have three new places to be able to visit, and a lot more stuff to look at.
     
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  17. Peter Hall

    Peter Hall Guest

    Whilst not wishing to disagree with the benefits claim I just wonder what evidence their is supporting Locomotions benefit to the local economy. I somewhat doubt if many visitors wander up to Shildon town centre and spend money there especially now the main parking is even further away.

    With regard to visitor numbers it would be interesting to know how these are calculated? I am sure I was counted as making three visits on my last single visit. Once in the welcome building when a button on the till was pressed whilst I was talking to the chap at the desk and twice more when I entered the main building on two separate occasions.
     
  18. Peter Hall

    Peter Hall Guest

    I have held back on making further comment on the space issue until assessing the situation on a post 'A4's visit. Having now visited Shildon I certainly stand by my original statement. There is a large area of currently unused space in the front of the collections hall that has in the past and might in the future be used to display exhibits. It might be items may be coming from elsewhere in the coming weeks to fill this space, the Super D being suggested on another thread, but if not then surely more of the 'National Collection' rolling stock currently outside could be pit under cover.

    As to what the 21st century visitor demands. As a 21st century visitor I am looking to enhance my knowledge, particularly when visiting state and local authority museums. Surely these are an extension of academia rather than something akin to Alton Towers.
     
  19. La Duchesse

    La Duchesse New Member

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  20. Greenway

    Greenway Part of the furniture

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    Again, I will quote the HLF spokeperson (via the BBC):

    A statement from the Heritage Lottery Fund said: "Demand for 2014 was higher than ever and the success rate was only 30% this year.
    "Unfortunately we did not have enough money to support all the applications we looked at on the day."

    This earlier post suggests the possibility that the HLF may not have received as much money from punters as they have done in previous years. With newer - and I dare say more favoured lotteries (to some people) - now around maybe the HLF will drop in years to come.
     

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