Over £750,000 set aside for community improvement projects

Monday 29th July 2019

GWR invites applicants for funding

Applications are now being invited for the 2020/21 round of funding from a local community improvement fund.

Launched in 2015 by Great Western Railway (GWR), over 130 schemes have now benefited from a share of more than £3 million allocated by the train operator’s Customer and Communities Improvement Fund (CCIF).

Designed to support the communities that the railway serves, GWR is calling for bids of all shapes and sizes which show a link to the railway and provide a community benefit. 

How do I apply?  www.gwr.com/CCIF 

In May this year GWR revealed the 39 projects from the 2019/20 scheme to share over £800,000 in funding, including £13,930 funding for a food growing and learning space.

The project aims to develop existing garden space at Avonmouth station to become a fully operational community food growing and learning space, overseen by Incredible Edible Bristol who are working with Feeding Bristol and Bristol City council towards a ‘Zero Hunger Bristol’.  

Other successful schemes included £46,650 funding for My Train Wales, a scheme to highlight the dangers of trespassing on the railways for primary school children; £16,850 funding for a new adventure playground in Taplow, to raise awareness and provide education about train travel to special needs children and young adults through a play train network.  

GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said:

“We at GWR recognise only too well the vital role that rail plays in local and the national economy. In December this year we will transform our train services in the biggest timetable shake-up since 1976, offering faster and more frequents journeys. 

“I am delighted once again to also invite applications to our Customer and Communities Improvement Fund, continuing to offer our support directly to the communities we serve.” 

All proposals must be submitted by 17:00 on Sunday 8 September.

Supported by the Department for Transport, CCIF has been established to recognise and support projects identified by the communities the rail operator serves.  The award of funding for 2020/21 is dependent on the award of a further franchise to GWR, to commence on 1st April 2020.

Proposals will be presented to a panel of representatives from our Advisory Board (made up of local stakeholders), our Customer Panel, and our executive management team. Their recommendations will be presented to the Secretary of State for final approval. 

Notes to editors

Great Western Railway (GWR) provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services. We help over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year - across South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, and large parts of Southern England. 

We’re currently seeing the biggest investment in the network since Brunel so we can offer more trains, more seats, and shorter, more frequent journeys and continue the network’s heritage of helping connect more businesses to new and prosperous markets. Through a series of initiatives we aim to be a good neighbour to the communities we serve and are committed to making a positive social impact in those regions. Learn how we're Building a Greater West at GWR.com. GWR is a FirstGroup company. 

The current GWR franchise finishes on 31 March 2020. In November 2017, the DfT announced their intention to award a further franchise to GWR, and the 2020/21 CCIF programme is dependent on this being concluded.