It’s full steam ahead for a partnership forged between Pennine and East Lancashire Railway after the Bury-headquartered company stoked up a new three-year sponsorship deal which will provide it with a strong promotional presence in and around its home town.
Under the terms of the deal, Pennine will secure up to 20 poster sites at any one time across the railway’s six stations and The Trackside pub at its Bury Bolton Street hub. In addition, the company’s logo will feature on the ELR’s main timetable leaflet and website and it will enjoy benefits such as exclusive use of the railway’s sumptuous 1920s Observation carriage.
The agreement, which extends a previous three-year sponsorship arrangement, comes as the ELR enjoys unprecedented success. Pulling in over 160,000 visitors annually, the railway is already one of the North West’s most popular tourist attractions and recently enjoyed a massive publicity boost following the famous Flying Scotsman’s return to the rails.
A ten-year £4.2m refurbishment of the iconic train was completed earlier this year by Riley & Son, a specialist locomotive engineering firm based just half a mile along the line from Bury Bolton Street station. Scotsman returned to service in a blaze of international publicity in February which began with the testing and first public runs of the restored engine on the ELR’s tracks.
Commenting on the company’s decision to again offer financial support to the railway, Pennine’s managing director, Andrew Roberts, said: “We’ve already enjoyed a terrific and rewarding relationship with the East Lancashire Railway and can only see that becoming stronger as the attraction grows ever more popular.
“Like the ELR, we’re also very proud of Bury, it’s heritage and its sense of community. The railway thrives only through the support of its many volunteers and commercial partners.”
Pennine’s backing was also gratefully acknowledged by the East Lancashire Railway’s chairman, Mike Kelly, who said: “Our trains may be powered by steam and diesel, but the railway and its ongoing success is fuelled by the enthusiasm and support of our volunteers and community-minded businesses like Pennine Telecom.
“It’s the combination of time devoted by volunteers and the financial support local companies give that enables the East Lancashire Railway to thrive and become an ever more popular attraction, and that popularity in turn promotes Bury’s prosperity.”
The new sponsorship is the latest in a line of commitments Pennine has made to local attractions and community organisations. Previous beneficiaries of the company’s support include Bury Hospice, the Fusilier Museum and Bury Woman of the Year awards.