THE chairman of Llangollen Steam Railway was invited to a special reception at 10 Downing Street.

Phil Coles attended the event, hosted by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, to celebrate the work of Levelling Up Champions across the UK.   

Simon Baynes, the Member of Parliament for Clwyd South, nominated Phil.

Mr Baynes has had a good relationship with the Llangollen Steam Railway since he was elected as the MP for Clwyd South four years ago.

During that time, Llangollen Railway has completed the line to and reopened the station at Corwen. The £13.3 million Clwyd South Levelling Up Fund, which Mr Baynes secured from the UK government in 2021, has contributed £191,000 to construct and place a canopy over Corwen Station which was reopened in June of this year.  

The UK government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, administered by Denbighshire County Council, has donated £375,000 to the Llangollen Steam Railway to develop a ‘package to strengthen the organisation’ enabling them to continue their restructuring process following several years of organisational change, particularly in the areas of volunteering, training, interpretation, and conservation.  

Levelling Up Funding has enabled the railway to improve the service they offer for residents and tourists on the railway in the Dee Valley and has complemented and expanded the railway’s own fundraising and hard work, and that of their volunteers, in ensuring their success for the years to come.  

Phil said: "I would like to thank Simon Baynes for the help he has given the Llangollen Railway Trust securing firstly the funding to build the canopy and open the new station in Corwen. Then with the Shared Prosperity Fund administered by Denbighshire County Council to help make the organisation robust for its future.

"I thanked the Rt Hon Michael Gove for the grants the railway had received to help us rebuild the railways future for the benefit of Llangollen, Corwen and the Dee Valley.”  


Mr Baynes said: "Phil Coles and the Llangollen Steam Railway have done excellent work running and expanding the railway. I am proud to have had the opportunity to recognise the success of the railway at No 10 Downing Street with Rt Hon Michael Gove MP and I look forward to continuing to support the Railway, their staff, and volunteers.

"The Llangollen Steam Railway is a beacon of excellence which, since the Downing Street Reception, has been recognised by them winning the Attraction of the Year at the Go North Wales Tourism Awards.”