A happy start to the year for No. 5551 as pro­ject’s fund‑rais­ing reaches an all‑time high.

Steam Railway (UK) - - CONTENTS -

‘Pa­triot’ spend­ing passes £2m mark

Pa­triot’ No. 5551 The Un­known War­rior is now a £2 mil­lion lo­co­mo­tive, with to­tal ex­pen­di­ture on the en­gine and ten­der stand­ing at £2.1m.

The mile­stone fol­lows the LMS‑Pa­triot Pro­ject’s most suc­cess­ful fund‑rais­ing year yet, with a record fig­ure of £500,000 achieved in the fi­nan­cial year end­ing March 31 2018.

The first quar­ter of its cur­rent fi­nan­cial year (end­ing June 30 2018) was also a record one, with a to­tal in­come of £100,700, com­pared to £97,600 in the first quar­ter of the 2017‑18 fi­nan­cial year.

The pro­ject has now raised an over­all to­tal of £2.8m to­wards the con­struc­tion of the Fowler ‘5XP’ 4‑6‑0, and cur­rently has ap­prox­i­mately £250,000 in the bank.

Chair­man David Brad­shaw said: “This doesn’t mean we’ve all got hol­i­day homes! That money is all com­mit­ted to or­ders and will be spent at a rate of knots over the com­ing months as we pay for the con­struc­tion of the boiler and ten­der.

“The in­come stream is very good, but it needs to con­tinue at that rate for some con­sid­er­able time to come.”

Fol­low­ing its trial‑fit­ting in the frames for the lo­co­mo­tive’s Re­mem­brance Day week­end ded­i­ca­tion at Crewe Her­itage Cen­tre (SR487), the boiler has re­turned to Her­itage Boiler Steam Ser­vices for in­ter­nal con­struc­tion to con­tinue, while the ten­der frames moved on Novem­ber 28 from Llangollen to con­trac­tors Leaky Fin­ders for com­ple­tion.

The £40,000 ‘Put a Ten­ner in the Tank’ ap­peal for the fab­ri­ca­tion of the ten­der tank is over half­way to its tar­get, with £26,000 raised.

The pro­ject has aban­doned its fund‑rais­ing stream of loans to­wards the boiler con­struc­tion costs be­cause, says Mr Brad­shaw: “It achieved its ob­jec­tive of cov­er­ing the boiler cost at a time when we had sig­nif­i­cant pres­sures on our cash flow. A com­bi­na­tion of in­creas­ing in­come and de­lays in the com­ple­tion of the boiler fol­low­ing the de­ci­sion by LNWR Her­itage to can­cel the con­tract has al­lowed in­come to catch up with ex­pen­di­ture, hence our de­ci­sion to cease tak­ing on loans.

“Boiler loans, of course, have to be fi­nanced with in­ter­est pay­ments (start­ing in 2020), though with cap­i­tal re­pay­ments not due to start un­til 2028, it is man­age­able.

“In­ci­den­tally, one in­di­vid­ual has turned his £50,000 loan (along with the £5,000 in­ter­est) into a do­na­tion

and it is hoped that this may re­cur.”

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