SWR Customer and Communities Improvement Fund – open until 6 September 2019

Article date
16 July 2019
Primary interest
Voluntary sector

South West Railways (SWR) are inviting bids for the first round of their Customer and Communities Improvement Fund (CCIF). There is £5.3 million available for projects that, having shown a link to the railway, have clear social or community benefit.

Successful bids can come from a wide range of schemes and activities, from diversity and
outreach projects helping to open rail travel to more communities, through to full scale building refurbishment projects. Funding is for a maximum of a two-year period and they will be looking for match funding in most cases.

What will they fund?

They welcome a wide range of applications; the list below identifies some of the types of schemes they are looking for. However, a scheme has to demonstrate clearly how it links with the South
Western Railway network and the communities they serve.

  • Educational – educational programmes for the community which could deliver safety education, provide railway experience, or increase awareness of local public transport.
  • Outreach – providing assistance to groups who may feel unable to use train services as part of daily life, to reduce social isolation and provide access to new opportunities.
  • Promotion/information provision – promoting train services, improving wayfinding or information to customers at the station or equally away from the station.
  • Research – surveys or studies to show ways to increase social inclusion, support diversity and promote rail use.
  • Disused buildings – bringing back into use a building, on or near the station, for the benefit of the community.
  • History and heritage – enriching the community through developing historic
    links with the South Western Railway network.
  • Station enhancements providing enhancements to a station that will benefit the local community.
  • Cycling encouraging the use of bicycles within the local community, or as a means of sustainable transport to and from the railway station. Examples include (but are not limited to) additional cycle parking at stations and dedicated cycle paths.
  • Walking – promoting walking links to and from stations and providing new footpaths that encourage further use of the railway.
  • Public transport integration – encouraging integration between public transport modes.

They want to encourage a variety of bids for projects of all shapes and sizes in the communities served by SWR.  They must however demonstrate a link to the railway, although that need not necessarily be at a station as we know many communities without a railway station still benefit from the railway.  Any scheme that requires CCIF funding to close a gap where existing funding has already been secured are particularly welcomed.

How to apply

Find our more here, including a more detailed handbook you can download.

You can apply through this online form.

Once bidding closes on 6 September 2019, each application will be assessed by a panel including representatives of Transport Focus, London Travelwatch and our Customer Panel. Their shortlist will then be reviewed by the Executive team, before a final list of recommended schemes is put to the Department for Transport for their final approval by the end of December 2019.

If you have any queries or need more information please contact our CCIF manager Mark Youngman on ccif@swrailway.com.