A fund to help improve neighbourhoods across the West Midlands Railway (WMR) network has opened to bids.

The Customer and Communities Improvement Fund (CCIF) has been launched as part of a drive to improve wider station environments in the West Midlands. The Fund will run every year for the next six years.

The fund is open to individuals, charities, local authorities and community groups, the chance to apply for a share of up to £1.7million. Following a judging process, funds will be awarded to not-for-profit schemes, big or small- which will be delivered between April 2020 and March 2021.

Fay Easton, head of community and stakeholder for WMR, said: “We have demonstrated our commitment to improving the experience of our passengers through our £1billion investment in the network and through this Fund we will make a real difference to the economic prosperity and social footprint of our communities.

“We have a superb breadth of organisations and community groups across our network and we are excited to hear their ideas for how this Fund can improve our neighbourhoods.”

Examples of schemes/projects which may be considered include:

  • educational schemes eg. railway safety
  • schemes providing information to communities around stations eg. wayfinding
  • projects to bring disused buildings on or near stations back to life
  • schemes promoting sustainable modes of travel such as walking and cycling

Bids received will be judged by the West Midlands Railway Community Investment Panel which will pass recommendations to the Department for Transport, which will make final approvals before funding is ultimately released.

The bidding window for 2020/21 grants is now open and will close on 7 October 2019. For more information and to submit bids, visit www.wmr.uk/ccif