Moorland & City awarded £1.65 million grant

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theblackwatch

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Some news from the Moorland & City's website at http://www.mcrailways.co.uk/news/5018/rgf.html

Fr those who aren't aware, this is the line connected to the Churnet Valley Railway. The section from Leekbrook Junction to Caldon Low was reopened last year, the section from Stoke last saw use in 1994.

Moorland & City Railways’ project to create a 30-mile sustainable rail network has been awarded £1.65 million in the second round of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund initiative.

The grant – the only one awarded to a railway nationally – recognises the project’s major impact on creating employment opportunities in North Staffordshire. As well as around 50 direct employees, the railway will pave the way for 1,000 jobs in the area.

Award of the grant was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as part of a £1.4 billion initiative to create new jobs and attract business investment. MCR is one of only four organisations in North Staffordshire to receive the support.

“I am delighted to be able to announce this boost to business, which will jump start growth and create jobs that last in the places that really need it,” said Mr Clegg.

MCR Director David Kemp said the grant was fantastic news for the project and recognised the importance of the railway’s plans in providing jobs. “In addition to our direct workforce, the railway will unlock a whole series of employment sites along its route by providing sustainable transport facilities.”

Such developments include the Moneystone leisure development in the Moorlands, the Cornhill site in Leek and a number of sites in Stoke-on-Trent.

“To receive the grant our proposals have been scrutinised at the highest level and have effectively been given the government’s seal of approval,” David added.

“This gives renewed confidence to everyone who is involved in the project and the many who support it.”

MCR’s restoration of the rail line from the Moorlands into Stoke on Trent, creating a link with the West Coast Main Line, will provide a sustainable and low-carbon freight and passenger route. Major quarries, Alton Towers and the town of Leek will benefit from direct rail access.

Having already re-opened the eight-mile stretch between Leekbrook and Cauldon Lowe, MCR is now making progress with restoration work from Leekbrook towards Stoke-on-Trent. It is planned to have the line open as far as Endon by early 2012.
 
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