As we have said on the previous page, the railway does no generate enough income to meet all of its costs. When special projects are undertaken, an appeal is usually made to both our regular supporters and to the general public.
The sponsorship scheme is different.
Its primary aim is to increase our regular predictable income to enable us to do all of the essential jobs to keep the railway running – maintenance, trackwork, repair of buildings – and also to help us to survive the winter months during which there is not much commercial activity to generate income. Our plans for expansion would need us to employ more staff but this can only be done if we are sure of a steady income flow.
Sponsors do not have any of the responsibilities of “membership” or “shareholding”. They are valued supporters helping the railway to develop on the basis of a predictable income. They provide a safety net for those times when unforeseen events interrupt our normal services. Their commitment is recognised in various rewards and benefits.
At the beginning of 2017, we has just over 200 regular sponsors providing the railway with about £3000 each month. This is a great start.
Besides the warm glow of feeling the they are helping their railway to develop, sponsors also get some benefits associated with the scheme depending on the level of their contribution per month. There is a minimum contribution of £5 per month. All sponsors are issued with their own membership card for the scheme.
All sponsors, on production of their membership card, can claim a discount of 10% on the purchase of any new goods and consumables from any station shop or catering outlet except on the purchase of alcoholic drinks.
The discount on goods does not apply at Crafts at The Crossing at Bedale Station to items that are sold on commission for local manufacturers and craft workers. The discount benefit does not apply to on-train buffets and catering or to used and secondhand goods sold in the shops.
Bronze (£5 to £9.99 per month)
Each year, you will be invited to enjoy one of the special afternoon tea trains for sponsors.
Silver (£10 to £19.99 per month)
Each year, you will be entitled to travel with a guest on one of the sponsors’ special afternoon tea trains. You will also be entitled to travel with a guest on four round trips on scheduled services.
Gold (£20 and over per month)
Each year, you will be entitled to a reserved table for four people on one of the sponsors’ special afternoon tea trains. You will also be entitled to travel with a guest on ten round trips on scheduled services.