Ron Treverton-Jones, the chairman of our investment committee and a trustee, explains what our Future Fund is, and why it will be so important:
What exactly is the Future Fund?
The Future Fund was set up in 2015 to provide an alternative source of funding for the SVR Charitable Trust in the years to come. It will mean we won’t have to rely on new fundraising for every single project, as we currently do. Generous donations from supporters raised £500,000, and The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) doubled this to kick-start our Future Fund with £1 million.
How is it managed?
Leading investment experts Brewin Dolphin manage the Fund on a discretionary basis. They report to our investment committee, which is made up of individuals with significant financial and investment experience.
The Fund is managed with a time horizon of at least 10 years, and the income is reinvested. Although we carefully monitor short-term performance, and expect to see some volatility, our aim is to build the fund in the long term, to provide future finance for the Railway and its activities, alongside other fundraising. The Future Fund’s current balance is approaching £1.5 million.
How is it going to help in the future?
The Charitable Trust helps fund many projects at the SVR, such as rolling stock, infrastructure, apprentice engineer training, disability access, education and exhibitions. The scale and range of these projects has increased hugely in the past decade. For example, restoring the SVR’s flagship loco ‘Hagley Hall’ and saving Falling Sands Viaduct will each exceed £1 million.
We want to build the Future Fund so it reaches £10 million. This could realistically produce an income of £300,000 a year, to either spend on projects or re-invest. However, we have a long way to go to reach our goal. Many SVR supporters understand the wisdom of an investment fund. They appreciate why taking this long-term approach will help safeguard the Railway’s future. The Future Fund needs both donations and legacies in order to become a significant resource for the SVR’s long-term viability.
Whilst we cannot predict the future, we do know that the costs and complexity of the Railway have increased beyond all expectations in recent years. Infrastructure (especially heritage buildings) inevitably deteriorates, along with rolling stock. Even finding the skills to maintain and repair it is difficult, and we must act to protect the future of this valuable heritage.
Can you help build our Future Fund? Or would you like further information? Please call 01562 757940 or email firstname.lastname@example.org