The Heart of England Community Rail Partnership (CRP) has appointed West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) director Malcolm Holmes as its new chair.
The partnership covers 36 stations in Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire and brings together volunteer groups who adopt, improve, and use their local railway stations for the good of their communities as well as delivering projects that tie in with the four pillars of community rail.
The organisation’s online annual meeting in March was attended by volunteers, train company representatives, local authorities, project partners and more, and saw the launch of the Heart of England CRP’s 2021 Annual Report as well as the election of the chair.
Projects undertaken during the last year include creating a rail safety video as part of a schools’ rail safety programme, organising a ‘Go Green by Rail’ Pledge Day for Community Rail Week, and working with Coventry Transport Museum to deliver Sustainable Stations workshops.
Malcolm has over 25 years of experience in the railway sector and held senior posts at Chiltern Railways and LOROL and has been executive director at WMRE for the past four years.
He said: “Community rail plays a vital role in the continued development of our railways. WMRE is one of Heart of England CRP’s partners and I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact they’re having on our local railways. I look forward to having greater involvement in the CRP, strengthening our engagement with local communities.”
The CRP is also looking forward to the Coventry Station Community Day this Saturday (May 7), a free family-friendly event celebrating both the development of Coventry’s railway station and its 60th anniversary.
Following food, music, performances, and plenty of activities for all ages, the day will conclude with a grand finale from the theatre company Highly Sprung, with their new outdoor aerial show IN TRANSIT. The performance will feature a professional cast alongside over 100 children from local schools, and celebrates both Coventry’s industrial heritage and looking forward to a greener future.
The event has been organised by Highly Sprung and the Heart of England CRP, and is jointly funded by Avanti West Coast and Coventry City Council. Other artists in a talented line-up poet John Bernard and dancer Louis Lewinson. All details and performance information can be found on the Heart of England CRP website here.