It has been shortlisted in the ‘Best Community Engagement Project' category along with the Lowestoft Central Project and Network Rail Anglia for organising heritage tours of the Somerleyton Swing Bridge during the 2023 Lowestoft Heritage Open Days Festival.
The Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership is also on the shortlist for the ‘Most Effective Communications Campaign' after its promotion of the Wherry 100 Summer Bus Service was used by over 10,000 people last summer to travel between Great Yarmouth station, the town centre, seafront, and Vauxhall Holiday Park.
In the ‘Community Creative Projects and Station Arts' category, the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership, which supports the lines between Ipswich and Lowestoft and Felixstowe, is shortlisted as well as Suffolk New College for its installation of artwork celebrating Ipswich and Suffolk on the older of the two footbridges at Ipswich station.
One of the finalists in the prestigious Platinum Category of the ‘It's Your Station Award' is the Wherry Lines Lowestoft Central Project for the rejuvenation of Lowestoft station with a number of initiatives including the Parcels Office Public Exhibition Space, Community Rail Shop and Tourist Information Centre.
It has supported refugee families in using the railway, hosted craft fairs, evacuee reunions, rail tours, exhibitions, meetings and a winter warm room initiative, and installation of Kindertransport history panels, and has also created a Men's Shed mental health project on the station's former cattle dock.
The Community Rail Awards are now in their 19th year, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in Swansea on 18 March.
Chair of the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership, Chris Mitchell, said “Our aim is to build positive relationships and mutually beneficial links between our lines and the communities they serve, so we are absolutely delighted to see our efforts and the benefits they have delivered, shortlisted for these prestigious national awards.”
Aaron Taffera, Chair of the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership, said, “We are thrilled to be shortlisted for this project, which really helped to improve the appearance of the footbridge and gave young artists a platform to bring their talents to a wider audience.”
Alan Neville, Greater Anglia's Customer and Community Engagement Manager, said, “We are really proud of our community rail partnerships and amazing station adopters and are thrilled that the work that they do across the region to support communities, promote sustainable travel and help our region's branch lines to thrive has been shortlisted at the Community Rail Awards.”