The Melton Constable Trust has received £20,000 National Lottery support to help address the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on heritage.

The Melton Constable Trust that manages the Norfolk Orbital Railway project, has received £20, 000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to maintain and promote their heritage railway land at Fakenham and Holt.  This is intended to be used in due course  for the re-building of the railway.  In the meantime, the sites and their history are already benefiting the public.  The permissive footpath at Fakenham along the railway trackbed is a popular walk and this funding will enable the Melton Constable Trust to maintain this along with managing security and safety so that members of the public can continue to enjoy this area for the benefit of their health and well being.  At Holt the Melton Constable Trust have plans to develop and expand their site for the benefit of visitors and the local community.  Social media will be used to promote the Melton Constable Trusts activities and events whilst at the same time volunteer staff will be trained in how to use this platform to share information and interact with other organisations.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown began the Melton Constable Trust has been limited in its activities due to travel restrictions however as lockdown eased and shielding was paused volunteers have been able to meet and carry out works at both sites.

Paul Young the Project officer for the Norfolk Orbital Railway project at the Melton Constable Trust said: “Thanks to the National Lottery and its players we can now move forward and make terrific progress in building on what we have worked so hard for and to safeguard the heritage aspect of the railway for future generations whilst at the same time providing activities for people to enjoy. We’re so grateful that The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting us at this crucial time – it’s a lifeline to us and others who are passionate about sustaining heritage for the benefit of all.”

To enable The Melton Constable Trust to manage the Norfolk Orbital Railway project, the money received from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, will help develop a comprehensive fundraising management plan and launch a volunteer recruitment programme aimed at driving the project forward and future proofing the Melton Constable Trust.

The funding, made possible by National Lottery players, was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund. £50million was made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector.

The UK-wide fund aimed to address both immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis. 

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as the Melton Constable Trust during this uncertain time.”

Like the Melton Constable Trust, other charities and organisations across the UK that have been affected by the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak are being given access to a comprehensive package of support of up to £600 million of repurposed money from The National Lottery. This money is supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and span the arts, community, charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors.

Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, including heritage of local and national importance. By playing The National Lottery, people up and down the country are making an amazing contribution to the nationwide-response to combatting the impact of COVID-19 on local communities across the UK.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund is now closed for applications. To find out more about how The National Heritage Emergency Fund is supporting the sector at this time please visit: 

To find out more about the National Lottery Good Causes , visit: 

For further information about the Norfolk Orbital Railway project, please contact:

David Bill –

Paul Young –