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Community Rail News – 28 June 2023

Hello everyone, we hope you are all doing well as we enter the second half of what is proving to be an eventful year.

Diversifying funding streams

As mentioned in our previous bulletins, our team is making it our priority to explore wider funding sources within and outside the rail industry to support members moving forward. We are keen to hear from those of you with experience of successfully securing additional financial support outside of the usual funding models. We would like to include any examples you can provide in future bulletins, to serve as ‘best practice’ case studies to other CRPs seeking to diversify and grow their income streams. If you have a good example of a project that has utilised funding outside of the traditional rail, TOC, or local authority funding pots, please send the details to news@communityrail.org.uk so we can share your examples more widely.

Social enterprise toolkit

One potential income stream for CRPs looking to diversify their funding base is developing social enterprise opportunities. Many CRPs and groups have already embedded social enterprise within their work, developing a range of revenue-generating activities, whilst others have forged links with existing social enterprises or small businesses. If you would like some more guidance in this area, including on business planning, engaging partners, marketing and finance, take a look at our social enterprise toolkit.

Resources and funding available

A reminder that Community Rail Network has a number of grants available, including the DfT’s Community Rail Development Fund for accredited CRPs and Small Grants Fund for England, plus small grants from TfGM and SWR. See more on our funding web page. We also offer a free tool for members to track and record their activities, supporting them to demonstrate their impact and value. Here you can find more information on how we can help you get set up on Impact.

Networking event for CRP Chairs

Following our previous well-received events, we are running an online networking session for CRP Chairs to get together and discuss future plans, as we look ahead to the new challenges and opportunities we face across community rail. The session will run on Thursday 13 July, 9.30am-12.30pm. All CRP Chairs should have received the booking details by email – if you haven’t, please email training@communityrail.org.uk.

Our new Sustainable Integrated Transport Coordinator

Finally, we are pleased to announce the successful recruitment of our new Sustainable Integrated Transport Coordinator. Gary Shipp will join the support and development team in early July for an initial ten-month fixed term appointment. Gary brings with him an extensive background in sustainable transport and will be leading Community Rail Network’s promotion and development of integrated transport. Please do extend a warm welcome to Gary once he starts in July, as he is keen to hit the ground running.

If you have any news stories, please email our communications team on news@communityrail.org.uk. See here for guidance on submitting stories.

Your next bulletin is on 12 July. Keep up-to-date in between on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Best wishes,
Jeremy and Jools