A pioneering fund to improve neighbourhoods across the West Midlands Railway (WMR) network by inviting bids from communities with innovative schemes from today.
The Customer and Communities Improvement Fund (CCIF) has been launched 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 £1.7million. 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 demonstrated our commitment to improving the experience of our passengers through our £1billion investment in the network and through this Fund we will make a real difference to the economic prosperity and social footprint of our communities.
“We have a superb breadth of organisations and community groups across our network and we are excited to hear their ideas for how this Fund can improve our neighbourhoods.”
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 7 October 2019. For more information and to submit bids, visit www.wmr.uk/ccif
About West Midlands Trains
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West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.
- London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast mainline to and from London Euston.
- West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street.
The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26.
West Midlands Trains operates 1,300 services a day, manages 150 stations and provides over 70 million passenger journeys a year. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.
The franchise is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1% share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co., Ltd (29.9% share in a 50:50 split). Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the UK, Abelllio operates ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, Merseyrail services in a joint venture with Serco and buses through Abellio London. For more information visit www.abellio.com
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