The WSR plc and the WSRA would like to congratulate those who took the initiative to fundraise, and those who have supported the appeal to keep 4110 on the West Somerset Railway whilst providing the WSR plc with much needed funds.
The WSR plc has been talking to the group throughout the process and have considered carefully their proposal that ownership in the locomotive be transferred to a special interest company. It is the WSR plc’s view that this object can be better achieved by the ownership being passed to the WSRA, the Railway’s principal supporting charity. The WSRA have agreed to accept ownership and future stewardship of the locomotive. It will thereby join a core group of WS Railway owned locomotive on which WSR resources will be focused in coming years.
The advantages of the locomotive passing to a charity include relief from some VAT liabilities, the availability of gift aid on donations for UK tax payers and the protection of the locomotive as a charitable asset. Difficulties between the WSRA and WSR plc are in the past, and the working relationship between the two bodies is excellent. The WSRA already owns GWR Prairie 4561 (undergoing restoration) and Manor Class 7821 ‘Ditcheat Manor’ on display in Swindon Designer Outlet while awaiting its turn in the restoration queue. It is now WSRA policy that assets such as these locomotives can only be sold after a full vote of the members, and so 4110 will be well protected for future use on the West Somerset Railway.
The structures and organisations of the West Somerset Railway are already overly complex and following this route avoids the creation of yet another. Existing pledges and further donations for the purchase of the locomotive should be sent to the West Somerset Railway Association, The Railway Station, Bishops Lydeard, Taunton, TA4 3BX or to the Association’s bank account with Lloyds: Sort code: 30-97-00 Account number: 07005086 Reference: 4110
Donations will be held as restricted funds. Once the purchase price of £100,000 is achieved the locomotive will be transferred, and any surplus put to the Locomotive Restoration Fund in which 4110 already sits. In the unlikely event the target is not reached the money will be returned to donors.
To ensure that those who are contributing to the locomotive do not lose touch with it, anyone contributing £100 or more will be offered membership of the WSRA for the coming year, which normally costs £25.
Jonathan Jones-Pratt, Chairman WSR plc Paul Whitehouse, Chairman, WSRA