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Southeastern establishes new community rail fund to promote social wellbeing and economic development

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Train operator Southeastern has launched a £400,000 fund for community rail projects and is inviting proposals from existing Community Rail Partnerships (CRPs) and other local organisations. Proposed schemes should promote sustainable travel, bring together local communities and promote social wellbeing and economic development.

Working with Community Rail Network – the national organisation that accredits new CRPs and provides oversight and support for community rail across Britain – Southeastern is inviting interested parties to submit bids for a share of the £400,000 in funding over a two-year period. A total of £200,000 in grants will be paid in the first year (ending 31 March 2021) and a further £200,000 is available in Year 2 (ending 31 March 2022).

In addition to established CRPs, Southeastern is also inviting councils, community groups and other local organisations to submit proposals, on the basis they commit to formally establishing a Community Rail Partnership by April 2021.

Chris Vinson, senior external communications manager at Southeastern, said: “We’re currently asking our passengers to avoid travelling by train unless they have no alternative. But we’re also planning ahead for a time when we’re able to get back to normal. We hope this funding will be a great help for the communities we serve across our network in Kent, East Sussex and South East London.”