CAMPAIGNERS fighting for the reinstatement of the railway between Colne and Skipton have lodged a bid for £40million to fund the project.

Members of SELRAP (Skipton-East Lancashire Railway Action Partnership) want cash from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to pay for the upgrade of the line.

The announcement comes just days after Burnley Council revealed it had asked for £9million from the same pot to reinstate the Todmorden Curve, linking the town to Manchester.

SELRAP’s vice chairman Peter Nowland yesterday said they lodged the bid unaware that council chiefs in Burnley were doing the same.

And he cited an intention to meet with those behind the bid to discuss the possibility of combining it with theirs.

He said: “We do want to get together with Burnley because we could damage each other’s bids.

“The Regional Growth Fund likes co-operation locally and not competition.

“It would be nice to see it as one because I think we can actually add to the Burnley bid.

“We could increase the number of jobs and our bid is quite different because we are looking at tourism and freight and that would be a key component in our application.”

The £40million would pay for the formation the Pennine Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Development Group, which would have representation from the rail industry, county councils, private companies, SELRAP and other interested parties.

The project would be completed by 2020.

SELRAP said the project would attract £300 million in added benefits to the local economy over three years, rising to £1,000million by the 10th year.

In addition, building the railway would also create 314 jobs.

SELRAP campaigners and Burnley Council expect to find out if their bids have been successful in September.