IT is full steam ahead for a "spectacular" fundraising event in aid of one of Worcestershire’s premier visitor attractions.

A special horse racing raceday will be held at Worcester Racecourse on Wednesday, June 24, with the aim of raising funds to safeguard the long-term future of the Severn Valley Railway.

Phil Dutton, one of the organisers, said the event would provide much-needed funds to preserve the railway’s infrastructure and keep it at the forefront of the country’s railway heritage.

He said: “Many people believe that the Severn Valley Railway is a self-sustaining operation which survives through ticket sales on the railway.

“This is simply not the case. This unique and wonderful facility, which operates between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth and attracts over 200,000 visitors each year, is dependent on 1,500 volunteers and financial support from the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust for its maintenance and development.

“This fundraising day is crucial if we are to guarantee the survival of the railway for the enjoyment of future generations.

“I think many people take its survival for granted. If we don’t adopt a proactive attitude it could so easily fall into decay and Worcestershire would lose a much-loved feature which gives enormous pleasure to the general public and railway enthusiasts.

“The charity raceday at Worcester promises to be enormous fun and I urge everyone who values the railway and enjoys horse racing to join us for an afternoon of jump racing at the picturesque, tree-lined racecourse, nestling on the banks of the river Severn.”

Visitors can bring a picnic and relax in the centre course enclosure whilst enjoying the afternoon of racing, visiting the Severn Valley Railway’s tank engine at the finish line or browse stalls selling Severn Valley Railway merchandise.

Gates open at 12.20pm and the first of seven jumps start at 2.20pm with the last race at 5.35pm.

For every centre course ticket sold £3 will be donated to the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust

To buy tickets contact Worcester Racecourse on 01905 25364.