West Somerset Railway awarded community grant

steam locomotive Kilmersdon at the West Somerset Railway
Credit: Ron Fisher

The West Somerset Railway has announced that it has been awarded a grant from the HPC Community Fund.

The Fund is in place to help address and mitigate against intangible and residual community impacts deriving from the construction of Hinkley Point C.

The application from the WSR was led by the West Somerset Railway Association and had the full support of the West Somerset Railway PLC and other members of the WSR family.

Being successful in its application, it allows the railway to increase its engagement with the local community, individuals, organisations and agencies to extend its reach to the wider community base.

A range of activities has been developed for volunteering and training which have been designed to facilitate personal well-being and community cohesion.

The programme will also attract new volunteers from the wider community which HPC brings. It will also help to facilitate their integration into the community.

Additionally, its core purpose will also allow the West Somerset Railway to build partnerships with organisations to work closely with them to achieve similar objectives.

The award is for £96,000 spread over two years and includes the employment of a dedicated WSR Community Engagement Officer.

What did the officials say?

WSR PLC Chairman Jonathan Jones-Pratt said

“This is an exciting new dawn for the Railway of which demonstrates how important the WSR is to our stakeholders through the West Somerset Community. I wish to thank and congratulate the WSRA on the hard work that has led to our successful HPCF bid submission and we look forward to creating legacy for the future as we work closely with our communities along our beautiful line.”

WSRA Chairman Paul Whitehouse said

“As the support charity for the West Somerset Railway we are thrilled to have been selected to deliver this project which will be of great benefit to individuals, the West Somerset Community, and the railway.”

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