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Funding available for upcoming community projects

Train operators across the rail network still have plenty of funding opportunities available for community rail groups looking to deliver projects.

The 20 community rail partnerships that are linked to the West Coast Mainline still have time to apply to the Avanti West Coast project fund. Applications need to be emailed to Jo Buckley by Friday 24 February. If you want to chat through any ideas, then please do get in touch with your respective RGM or

East Midlands Railway‘s (EMR) Community Fund is also still open for applications. The fund, which launched earlier this year, aims to support communities and organisations along the routes that EMR serve, and has already allocated more than £130,000 to projects the make a difference to those that need it most.

Some examples of the projects the fund has supported include working with a group of Year 4 children at Chestnut Street School in Ruskington to take part in a six-week scheme of work to learn more about the ‘World Around Them’ through geography, history and art. Over the course of six weeks, the children learnt all about the railway, took a trip on a train, completed a history walk around the village and made a mosaic – which now has pride of place at the station. 

Another worthwhile project that was supported was the Dementia Friendly Project at Alsager Station. Following on from being awarded ‘Working towards Dementia Friendly’ status in 2020, the Community Fund paid for a day out by train for members of Alsager’s Memory Cafe. The scheme wanted to see how dementia friendly the station was for a small group of people living with dementia and further understand how easy or difficult it was for them to travel by train.

EMR’s Community Fund is available to community rail partnerships, station adoption groups, charities, community interest companies, schools, youth organisations, sports clubs, not for profits and groups such as Beavers or Guides. To qualify the group or organisation must operate within 15km of an EMR station and successfully meet the requirements of funding set out by EMR.

For more information about the fund, including how to apply, visit EMR’s website.

Similarly, there are still funds available from our very own Community Rail Development Fund. Again, please speak to your usual contact within our support and development team to discuss your project before submitting any bid. You can also email us with any queries or for more details.