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Your station, Your community Improvement Fund

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Your station, Your community Improvement Fund

We are launching our second round of our ‘Your Station, Your Community’ Improvement Fund 2024/25 to support local groups, charities, our customers, and the communities on our line of route.

The fund will support causes that are of key importance to local communities on our network and to us. Building lasting social value; under the following key themes: mental health, education, and employability skills amongst marginalised groups, as well as diversity and inclusion and environmental sustainability.

We welcome applications from registered charities, community interest companies (CICs), community groups and other not-for-profit organisations such as community rail partnerships, schools & colleges, business partnerships, town councils and parish councils.

What we’re looking for

We’re looking for applications for initiatives taking place in and around stations served by Great Northern, Southern or Thameslink on the GTR network, that make a positive impact in one or more of the focus areas listed below. See our route map. The communities supported by your project should be served by one of those stations.

We can, however, only accept bids for work on station property that are managed by Great Northern, Southern or Thameslink

Our Priority Subject Areas

Positive Mental Health

Mental health activities that encourage working with local partners to signpost or refer people to support services or initiatives that have a positive impact on people’s wellbeing. Connecting people together to take positive action to prevent suicide, an issue that has devastating and far-reaching impact on people, customers and communities. Utilising the station space to communicate positive mental health messaging.

Diversity and Inclusion

Support for community projects that create opportunities for groups who are socially and economically excluded, inparticular looking at digital exclusion within those groups. Building on the strengths and knowledge in the communities we serve. Our ambition is to create an inclusive culture where customers and colleagues feel able to be themselves and feel they belong to their local communities. Facilitate spaces or events where parts of communities that are often separated can come together.

Employability and confidence building

Promoting employability and education amongst marginalised groups by investing in the skills development for now and the future, developing the creation of social enterprise within those communities, and working with young people to create positive opportunities and addressing such issues as anti-social behaviour

Environmental Sustainability

Supporting environmental projects that reduce emissions, increase recycling, restoring natural spaces or encouraging sustainable mobility shift to encourage customers to make greener choices to travel by rail and getting to our stations sustainably - by bike, bus, foot or electric car.

Creating a welcoming station environment

Regenerating redundant station spaces for community hubs, providing space for activities that enrich the local community and bring station estate back into use. Creating a welcoming ambiance to our stations enhancing our customers’ experience and engaging with hard to reach groups and/or addressing issues such as anti-social behaviour that have wider social impact.

Funding will need to be spent in full, and projects completed within the financial year (April 24 to March 25), in which the funding is gifted.

For further information on what we are looking for in an application, and the criteria please see our application guide.

If you have any questions about a CCIF application or would like to submit a bid for more than £10,000 then please contact community@gtrailway.com. Please note we will not accept bids over £10,000 that have not been discussed with the community team prior to submission.

What does a good application look like?

  • An application that clearly links in with one of the following areas - mental health, education and employability skills, confidence building, diversity and inclusion, environment and sustainability
  • Details on who the primary beneficiaries are and numbers of beneficiaries
  • What benefits will be delivered initially and a mechanism for measuring the benefits and impact
  • An accurate and succinct project scope outlining why financial support is needed
  • Budget breakdown of funding request, overall project budget and key project milestones

How to apply:

Timelines for your application

  • Applications open: 9th November 2023
  • Applications close: 15th December 2023
  • Bids reviewed: January 2024
  • Recommended schemes submitted to DfT for approval: Mid-February
  • Successful bids informed: Late March
  • Contracts and initial funding awarded: April - May 2024
  • Funding spent and fully committed: 31 March 2025

Contact details

If you would like to contact us to discuss your scheme, or for support completing your application, please email us at community@gtrailway.com and one of the team will be happy to help.