Community projects receive vital funding from railway

Railway communities across the region are preparing to get stuck into a range of new projects thanks to funding from a rail operator.

The project is to install a fully restored British Rail railway carriage and a coal wagon on to a section of track located alongside the existing Anglesey Street Car Park with the aim to clear the rest of the area for a garden. Photo: West Midlands Railway
The project is to install a fully restored British Rail railway carriage and a coal wagon on to a section of track located alongside the existing Anglesey Street Car Park with the aim to clear the rest of the area for a garden. Photo: West Midlands Railway

More than a dozen schemes, which include art projects, children’s activities and help for young station adopters will receive a slice of £800,000 in funding from West Midlands Railway’s (WMR) “Your Community, Your Fund” pool.

The funding is provided by the Department for Transport (DfT) and allocated by WMR and its sister company London Northwestern Railway to projects across the network.

The grant will help develop the safe and dry pathway to Codsall station from the Parish Council Car Park. Photo: West Midlands Railway

Fay Easton, WMR head of stakeholder and community, said: “I am so proud of all the work that goes into our Your Community, Your Fund projects, the principles of this scheme bring intense value to communities and are of great benefit to our railways.

“It will be a pleasure to work with the project leaders and witness the progress of each project and their impact on different West Midlands areas and community groups over the coming months.”

Rail and Ramble - Albrighton will deliver regular events across the Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton railway line encouraging the local community to join the group and experience their 'Rail and Ramble' excursions. Photo: West Midlands Railway

Among the schemes selected for funding include Rail and Ramble in Albrighton, a scheme which sees groups of people come together to got on walks around the area and will now be able to put on regular events on the Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton line.

Other projects funded include a scheme to add a lit footway at Codsall station, a transformation of land around Hednesford station, better signage for access to Halesowen from Rowley Regis station and "The Albion Express", a scheme at the Hawthorns to help the core community to connect with the railway.

Reaching Halesowen - Rowley Regis involves greater signage to help people travel between Rowley Regis and Halesowen. Photo: West Midlands Railway

The ‘Your Community, Your Fund’ scheme, also known as the Customer & Communities Improvement Fund, is a plan to develop new community connections and programmes, have a positive impact at stations and contribute to the recovery of passenger numbers on the railways.

Applications for this year’s funding closed in May, with the successful projects demonstrating to DfT and independent judges their social, environmental and rail industry benefits.

Basing the project around The Hawthorns station and working with people with disabilities and learning difficulties and creating ‘Albion Memories’, ‘Baggies Buddies’ ‘Albion Cares’ ‘History & Heritage’ and 'Rail Safety and Opportunities' to help the local core community connect to the railways. Photo: West Midlands Railway

For more information about ‘Your Community, Your Fund’, go to westmidlandsrailway.co.uk/about-us/your-community-your-fund

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