Malcolm Kirkwood – The Chairman made a presentation to Malcolm who has retired from the ELR Board after serving for 14 years as Traction Director. Like all our volunteers Malcolm has played a huge part in the ELR’s success and has transformed the Steam & Diesel Departments. Malcolm also served on the ELRPS Council. Malcolm will continue as a working volunteer.
Governance Arrangements – The move to create a single ELR Board was agreed as part of the proposed governance changes, agreed at a joint meeting on the 4th January 2016. The joint Boards of ELLRCo and ELRH have agreed to move from two boards to a single Board. This will require a fresh application to the Charity Commission. Before we can do that we will consult with the original Board members to seek their support for these changes.
What are the benefits of these changes:
- ELLRCo becomes a registered charity, with a trading subsidiary;
- Establishment of a separate Trading subsidiary (controlled by ELLRCo) – managing retail; catering; pubs etc . All profits would be GiftAid-ed up to ELLRCo.
- The new Board, can raise funds from external sources in a way that is currently not possible
- Board Directors must re-apply for their positions after 3 years
- 4 nominees representing ELRPS to serve on the new Board
Capital Expenditure – Board agreed to the following investments totalling £30,000:
- New Radio Handsets
- New Heating/Insulation for all Signal Boxes
- Various Roof repairs
- New Shop for Ramsbottom Station
- Tyre Turning Lathe
The ELR Board have, at two Board meetings July/August, now made investments of around £110,000 to improve our infrastructure.
Boiler Repairs – Board have agreed to start to bring Boiler Repair work back ‘in house’. As boilers are a safety critical item it is necessary for the ELR to conform to ORR and other regulations. The budget for the steam department will be increased to ensure we:
- Recruit a skilled Boilersmith
- Purchase of tools and equipment
- Enhancement of the Traction & Rolling Stock
- Completion of risk assessment & ORR requirements (already completed)
We anticipate annual savings from ‘in house’ boiler repairs of between £25,000 – £40,000. the focus now will be to get the Jinty loco back in service asap.
Visitor Numbers – Cumulative visitor numbers up to July were running at 66,000 compared to 50,000 for 2015, a rise of around 32%. These figures exclude BTM, Groups, Educational visits, Dining, Rail Ale Trail and Charters.
Made in Bury Business Award 2016 – The ELR submitted applications in the Food/Drink; and Tourism/Leisure Categories.
Burrs New Station – The ELR Operational group, representing steam, diesel, stations, signals, FXP operations & safety, have provisionally agreed that full scheduled services will be stopping at the new station from 1st January 2017.