39 community projects to share £800,000 funding

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Extra 12 carriage trains into London from Great Western Railway
Credit: GWR

Great Western Railway has announced that 39 community projects will share a total of £800,000 in funding.

Just one of 39 schemes to be awarded funding from the Greater Western Railway is a scheme to use a rail station garden to grow food for the homeless.

Designed to help boost the local economy, GWR invited bids from its Customer and Communities Improvement Fun (CCIF) last summer. On the 28th May 2019, 39 winners have been revealed across the Greater Western Railway network. This included £13,930 funding for a food growing and learning space.

Aiming to develop existing garden space at Avonmouth station to become a fully functioning community food growing and learning space. The project will be overseen by Incredible Edible Bristol. Incredible Edible Bristol is working with Feeding Bristol and Bristol City council towards a ‘Zero Hunger Bristol’.

Produce of the garden will be shared with the local community via Avonmouth Community Center’s free/subsidised Lunch Club, the North Bristol Food Bank and the Bristol Jam Plan which serves homeless shelters.

Other successful schemes include a scheme to highlight the dangers of trespassing on the railways for primary school children by My Train Wales who received £46,650 funding; £16,850 funding for a new adventure playground in Taplow, to raise awareness and provide education about train travel to special needs children and young adults through a play train network.

In total, almost 40 schemes successfully won funding, and with match funding a requirement of applying for the GWR Customer and Communities Improvement Fund, over £1.8 million is now set to benefit local community projects.

All the proposals were presented to a panel of representatives from GWR’s Customer Panel (made up of local customers), the Advisory Board (made up of local stakeholders), and the executive management team. Final recommendations were then put to the Department for Transport (DfT) for approval.

Supported by the DfT, the Customer and Communities Improvement Fund (CCIF) was established to recognise and back projects identified by the communities where GWR operates, with projects requiring local match funding.

What did the officials have to say?

GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said:

“We at GWR recognise only too well the vital role that rail plays in local and the national economy, and I am delighted that we have been able to continue to support the communities we serve with this funding.

“This year’s entrants include a wide and staggering range of projects, many showing the innovation that the area has become renowned for, and I look forward to them all coming to fruition.”

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