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Churnet Valley Railway (1992) PLC

When British Rail ceased using the remains of the former Churnet Valley Line in 1988, the NSRC began to arrange for the purchase of this stretch from Oakamoor to Leek Brook Junction. Under company law, however, a charitable body such as NSRC may not enter a "risk taking" venture such as a public share issue - it was therefore necessary to promote a Public Limited Company as this was viewed as the best method to raise the capital funds required to complete the purchase. This new company was incorporated on 30 October 1992 as "Goldenlaunch plc", with the name subsequently being changed to the "Churnet Valley Railway (1992) PLC" on 15 December 1992. This was at first a subsidiary, non-trading "shadow" company of the NSRC, until the first share issue was publicly launched and the trading activities of NSRC were taken over by the CVR.

The promotion of a public limited company (PLC) was also necessary in order to make an application for a Light Railway Order, which co-incidentally was the last application made under the old legislation before the onset of the new Transport and Works Act. The PLC also needed to be in place for applications for planning permission and numerous other legal necessities. The way ahead was now clear for the launch of the public share issue, which would fund the  purchase of the railway and associated land between Leek Brook Junction and Oakamoor Sand Sidings. In 1995 an agreement was reached with British Rail Board for the line's purchase by the PLC subject to raising the necessary funding, and so the major share issue (Share Issue 1) was launched and was well supported, particularly by the local community, raising over £120,000 which enabled the purchase to go through. This was completed on 4 July 1996.

As a result, the company was able to buy the entire 7 miles (11 km) of trackbed and associated works from Leek Brook Junction's former St Edwards Platform, to Oakamoor Sand Quarry Sidings, and make a substantial down payment towards the purchase of the existing trackwork and sidings that were in place. After this, efforts were concentrated on preparing the track for the return of passenger trains, and on 24 August 1996 LMS Fowler Class 3F 47383 departed Cheddleton for Leek Brook Junction, a distance of roughly 1 mile (1.6 km).

Since this original Share Issue, there have been three further highly succesful Share Issues -:

* Share Issue 2 (1996) - Re-opening of Cheddleton to Consall

* Share Issue 3 (1998) - Re-opening of Consall to Kingsley & Froghall

* Share Issue 4 (2011) - Purchase of Shareholding in Moorlands & City Railways Ltd (inc Re-opening of Cauldon Branch)

                          Share Issue 4 Prospectus

                          Shares Application Form

 

 

 

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