Visit Kent has won a major Government funding bid to help promote and celebrate the county’s five heritage railways.
The £75,000 of funding will go towards improving awareness of the county's heritage railways, including East Kent Railway, Kent and East Sussex Railway, Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway, Spa Valley Railway.
Visit Kent won the money for its Connecting Kent's Heritage Railways project from the Department for Transport's Heritage and Community Rail Tourism Innovation competition, which aims to boost rail-related tourism across the country.
The money will be used to promote the railways with dedicated marketing campaigns, including a new digital platform for the network. It will also work with Southeastern to improve awareness of the local heritage railways at the nearest mainline stations.
Chief executive Sandra-Matthews Marsh MBE said: “Kent not only has five fantastic heritage railways welcoming visitors, but we are also home to Hornby Hobbies, to the first new rail line built since the 1800s (High Speed One) and possibly to a new railway heritage museum, which is in its planning stages in Ashford.
“Each of Kent’s heritage railways has a unique story to tell, and we look forward to celebrating and sharing these with more visitors.”
Community rail lines account for around 40 million journeys per year, and the sector contributes an estimated £250 million to the UK economy.