South Western Railway encourages submissions for £300,000 community improvement fund

South Western Railway encourages submissions for £300,000 community improvement fund

Wednesday 25th October 2017
  • South Western Railway to invest over £300,000 in community projects during the new rail franchise 
  • Customer and Communities Improvement Fund (CCIF) now open for submissions 
  • Local groups encouraged to apply for community funding related to the railway 

South Western Railway is calling on Islanders to submit proposals for community project funding on the Isle of Wight. Over £300,000 is being made available (split in to £50,000 available each financial year until 2024) for community improvement schemes on the railway until the end of the current franchise.

Andy Mellors, Managing Director for South Western Railway, said: “The Customer and Communities Improvement Fund (CCIF) will help to support projects that have a real community benefit or address an area of social need on our network.

“The investment of £50,000 every year in to community projects across the region demonstrates our commitment to the Isle of Wight and building a railway that works for everyone.”

Richard Kempton, Community Rail Manager for South Western Railway, said: “We’re really proud of the fact that one of CCIF’s unique features is that it involves customers and stakeholders in helping to decide which schemes to take forward. The Fund is open for both small and larger community schemes.”

Councillor Ian Ward, Isle of Wight Council cabinet member for Infrastructure and Transport, said: “I would urge community groups or Islanders with any great ideas that have a community or social benefit around public transport to get on board and apply for this project funding. It could really make a big difference to our local communities and how they use transport in the future.”

What sort of schemes are being considered for the Customer and Communities Improvement Fund (CCIF)?

The CCIF initiative is designed to support schemes that have a tangible community benefit, address an area of social need, and are not for commercial gain. The following areas are of particular interest:

Education – programmes for the community which could deliver safety education or increase awareness of local public transport.
Outreach – providing assistance to groups who may feel unable to use train services as part of daily life, to help reduce social isolation and provide access to new opportunities.
Promotion/Information provision – promoting train services, improving wayfinding or information for customers.
Research – surveys or studies to show ways to increase social inclusion, support diversity and promote rail use.
Disused buildings – bringing back into use a building, on or near a station, for the benefit of the community.
History and heritage – enriching the community through developing historic links with the South Western Railway network
Station enhancements – providing enhancements to a station that will benefit the local community.
Cycling – encouraging the use of cycles within the local community, or as a means of sustainable transport to and from a railway station eg additional cycle parking at stations or dedicated cycle paths.
Walking – promoting walking links to and from stations and providing new footpaths that encourage further use of the railway.
Public transport integration – encouraging integration between public transport modes.

A decision on each submission is made by an Island Line stakeholder forum that is currently in the process of being set up. The final list of preferred schemes is then submitted to the Department for Transport for consideration and development.

What is the application process?

Advice on how to apply can be found online here.

If you have any further queries about the application process, contact Richard Kempton (Community Rail Manager for South Western Railway):