Railway companies funding still available for community groups

Final call for West Midlands Railway communities to claim cash boost.

There is little over a week left for communities with ideas for innovative projects across the West Midlands Railway network to submit bids for a slice of a £1.7 million fund.

The Customer and Communities Improvement Fund was launched earlier this month as part of West Midlands Railway’s drive to improve the wider station environment. The Fund will run every year for the next six years and this year’s application process is now open.

The Fund offers bidders, including individuals, charities, local authorities and community groups, the chance to apply for a share of up to £1.7 million. Following a judging process, cash will be awarded to not-for-profit schemes – big or small – which will be delivered between April 2020 and March 2021.

Fay Easton, head of community and stakeholder for WMR, said: “We have already received dozens of applications for funding and have been impressed with the variety and imagination behind the schemes. There is still time to get your bid in.

“This Fund we will make a real difference to the economic prosperity and social footprint of our communities as we demonstrate our commitment to improving the experience of our passengers.”

Examples of schemes which may be considered include:

Educational schemes eg. railway safety
Schemes providing information to communities around stations eg. wayfinding
Projects to bring disused buildings on or near stations back to life
Schemes promoting sustainable modes of travel such as walking and cycling

Bids received will be judged by the West Midlands Railway Community Investment Panel which will pass recommendations to the Department for Transport, which will make final approvals before funding is ultimately released.

The bidding window for 2020/21 grants is now open and will close on 7th October 2019. For more information and to submit bids, visit www.wmr.uk/ccif