The Trust

About us

The Downs Light Railway Trust is British Charitable Incorporated Organisation, registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Registered on the 31st August 2021 under registration number 1195660, it succeeds the original Charitable Trust registered on the 12th May 1983 under registration number 513882.
Our charitable objects are to advance public education by the restoration, preservation, maintenance, operation and development of the Downs Light Railway as a heritage asset for the provision of practical education to young people between the ages of 7 to 18. We aim to do this from, but not exclusively by:

  • Educating young people in engineering disciplines, including civil, mechanical, electrical, design, and workshop practice
  • Promoting science, technology and engineering focused activities and careers.
We are located on the Herefordshire and Worcestershire boarder of the United Kingdom, within the Malvern Hills area of outstanding natural beauty. Our registered office is located at The Downs Malvern College Preparatory, Brockhill Road, Colwall, Worcestershire. WR13 6EY.
We are made up of professional and non-professionals who all volunteers their time and effort in the name of the charity for free. The Downs Light Railway Trust does not currently provide a salary or renumeration to individuals. All our funding goes directly to the administration of the Downs Light Railway Trust and the delivery of educational activities on the Downs Light Railway.

Our Vision

Our vision is that people can access real-world practical learning from a young age, complementing their primary and secondary education and boosting their future employment opportunities.

We know that the United Kingdom is facing a growing nationwide skills shortage in science, technology and engineering sectors. This is a result of a highly skilled workforce that is approaching retirement and a reluctance from young people to study and enter careers in these areas.

Closer to home, the heritage and tourism rail industry faces additional challenges. This ranges from the diminishing specialist skills to keep heritage assets operable, the public's interest to volunteer their time to support the industry, and a regulatory need to offer customers a Victorian experience on railways operated and maintained to modern safety standards.

Our Mission

Our mission is to be a model example for delivering practical learning alongside formal education, to provide an inclusive community hub to foster positivity and well-being, and to support the national need to encourage more young people to embark on STEM-related careers.

Facing the national challenges means facing the stark realities. Addressing the skills crisis by encouraging young people into STEM related careers can only be achieved through early engagement during their primary and secondary education. This engagement window diminishes as young people enter their teens and approach adulthood. We have to adapt and move with the attitudes and behaviours of young people to present an inclusive learning environment and help guide them into meaningful careers.