Heart of Wales Line CRP appoint new Community Rail Development Officer

Owen Griffkin has been appointed as the new Community Rail Development Officer for the Heart of Wales Line Community Rail Partnership (CRP).

As the new Officer, Owen will engage with communities across the network from Shrewsbury to Swansea, over four counties in England and Wales, connecting local people to their railway line.

Owen has come to the role with experience working in mental health co-production in Powys, giving him a strong background in community-led initiatives, and he has also worked for the Arts Council of Wales on the Lead Creative Schools project.

Owen said: “My work has always involved connecting communities and making sure that projects I work on get to the heart of what people need and want. I will be focusing on wellbeing, active travel and connecting communities through creative projects. I want to give communities a voice in the services they use and the projects we do.

“The line is beautiful and a real asset to Wales and Borders’ tourism. It has a unique walking trail in place, the Heart of Wales Trail, which weaves its way from Craven Arms down to Llanelli and I will be making full use of this and encouraging others to do the same.”

Melanie Lawton, Community Rail Strategic Lead at Transport for Wales, said: “We know community rail can drive real change for the better across our network, helping make rail travel more accessible and inclusive, which in turn creates a real economic benefit and an opportunity to support the health and wellbeing of people in our communities. The Heart of Wales Line is one of the most scenic journeys and we’re delighted to welcome Owen and PAVO into the community rail family.”

Michele Muireasgha, Interim Chair for the Heart of Wales Line CRP, said: “PAVO is delighted to have taken over as the host organisation for the Heart of Wales Line CRP. We are looking forward to refreshing the partnership so that it is representative of the Heart of Wales Line communities, and to supporting Owen in his role as he engages with communities along the line.”

If you would like to know more about getting involved in the partnership, please contact the Interim Chair Michele Muireasgha at michele.muireasgha@pavo.org.uk.

Keep up to date with future news, projects, and events from the Heart of Wales Line CRP via their website.

Photo shows (from left to right): Owen Griffkin, Community Rail Development Officer; Melanie Lawton, Community Rail Strategic Lead at Transport for Wales; and Clair Sterry, Senior Officer Third Sector Development at PAVO.