TENS of thousands of pounds have been pledged by generous donors in order to keep a heritage railway service running.

Over recent weeks the Leader has reported on the concerns of Llangollen Railway Trust over the future viability of its services, due to the impact of covid-19.

The trust launched a fundraising appeal, emphasising the importance of the service to the region's businesses and regeneration opportunities.

On Wednesday, the organisation released an update about the appeal's progress.

A spokesman said: "Firstly, we would like to thank everyone that has donated and purchased shares over the last few weeks.

"We have now received approximately £75,000 in share purchases and donations, including gift aid, which is amazing.

"We have also applied for the resilience grant from the Welsh Government and a bounce back loan from the bank backed by the Government but have yet to hear regarding either of these applications.

"Your generosity will help us to keep covering our overheads during this time.

"With listed buildings to maintain and engines needing regular servicing, like all heritage railways we are reliant upon our customers for an income and our income this year will be very much reduced.

"Our donations page will remain open for the foreseeable future and if you are in a position to help us further we would be very grateful.

"Regarding our events, so far we have cancelled all events and bookings to the end of June, we have rescheduled the Gin Train until September and the June Murder Mystery to November.

"With regards to other events, we are currently working a month at a time and will update these when we receive updates from the Welsh Assembly.

"Following the Government announcement at the weekend we do not think we will be open before July 4.

"We all have to wait and see and hope things improve. The safety of our volunteers, employees and customers is paramount but, rest assured, we are working as hard as we can to ensure Llangollen Railway is still here for you to enjoy once life returns to normal."

To see the fundraising page and to donate, visit: https://llangollenrailway.charitycheckout.co.uk/cf/covid-19-appeal