03:33PM, Thursday 12 August 2021
South Western Railway (SWR) is committing £265,000 to Community Rail Partnerships stretching from Reading to Ashford and Windsor & Eton Riverside.
Community Rail Partnerships (CRPs) are not-for-profit organisations that bring together local groups from the rail industry with industrial groups to deliver a wide range of rail activities.
Initiatives range from people helping to maintain station gardens to major refurbishment schemes.
The new alliance brings the total number of community rail partnerships across SWR’s network up to 12.
The new CRP will work with local schools and community groups, with a focus on supporting people who face barriers to travel.
Seven stations in the area have already been ‘adopted’ by local arts societies that support those with mental health needs and disabilities.
The funding from SWR is invested in employing an officer for each CRP, who delivers the community activity.
Tim Barkley, chair of Southeast Communities Rail Partnership CIC, said:
“Communities and railways work hand in hand together to promote social inclusion, support local businesses, involve local communities, and encourage travel by rail.
“We are looking forward to welcoming passengers safely back on board to take them on a journey of discovery to experience the best that that our region has to offer.”