The appeal to restore Horsted Keynes railway station has reached its initial £500,000 target.
The fundraising effort to help to finance the repair of leaking roofs and the replacement of rotting beams was launched last autumn.
Appeal organisers have announced that as of 31 December, the total raised was £513,000 and they expect to reclaim more than £30,000 of Gift Aid from HMRC, thereby providing a grand total of £543,000 to date.
Bluebell Railway appeal co-ordinator Trevor Swainson said: “What a wonderful way to start the new year. This is a late – and great – Christmas present for all the staff, volunteers and visitors to the Bluebell Railway.
“We would like to thank members, shareholders and friends of the railway who have contributed to the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ appeal to put the sparkle back into the Grade II listed 140-year-old station at Horsted Keynes.”
Many film crews and TV production companies have used Horsted Keynes station as a location for period dramas because of its look and feel. It appeared in an episode of ‘The Larkins’ on ITV last October in which Pop Larkin played by Bradley Walsh led a campaign to save the railway station from closure.
Work on the first phase of restoring the station should begin in the Spring. The initial work will cover repairs to the station house and platform 5.
Mr Swainson added: “The appeal is still open for anyone who wishes to contribute. The railway will provide match-funding for all donations until the end of January up to a total of £150,000.”
Further details of the appeal and how to donate are available on our donations webpage.