GWR launches latest Customer and Community Improvement Fund in Wales

Projects supporting local communities and addressing areas of social need can now apply for a slice of Great Western Railway’s Customer and Community Improvement Fund.

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Following the success of last year’s scheme, in which GWR supported 83 projects totalling £1m, the train operator is inviting funding bids for customer and community projects.

As part of its National Rail Contract with the Department for Transport, GWR is committed to supporting schools, colleges, councils, community and other not-for-profit organisations by aiding a number of initiatives.

Successful projects in South and West Wales last year included a Refugee Integration Project, where Green Man Trust and Oasis Cardiff used a grant of nearly £14,000 to help 25 refugees from Cardiff build skills and confidence at Green Man Festival, the independent music, science and arts festival held in the Bannau Brycheiniog.

Now GWR is inviting bids for 2023-24. Schemes should show a link to the railway and address an area of social need or provide a community benefit. They should reach completion by the end of February 2024.

Applications must be submitted via an online portal on GWR’s website here, where there are also guidance notes on making a successful bid. All proposals must be submitted by Thursday 25 May.

GWR Wales Growth Manager Rich Middleton said:

“The Customer and Community Improvement Fund is a fantastic opportunity for us to invest in projects that really make a difference to our customers and communities at a local level.

“We are particularly interested in schemes that benefit customers, increase rail travel, encourage carbon reduction, connect communities, people and places, support economic growth, promote inclusion and diversity, and educational programmes that support careers in rail or increase awareness and experience of public transport and rail safety.

“This year we are also particularly looking for projects that help veterans, long term unemployed and women and girls.

“A good bid will show a strong level of community involvement and support and the proposal will have benefits that last beyond the duration of the project.”

Bids can vary in size, but GWR is particularly looking for small and medium bids to maximise the number of communities it can help.

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