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19 October 2017

Outstanding success for Cumbria Rail Partnership

Community Rail Cumbria (CRC) celebrated unprecedented success at this year’s ACoRP Community Rail Awards. Taking home the prestigious Award for Outstanding Contribution to Community Rail, the team of four together with their community and business partners, also scooped five more awards for collaborative rail-related projects around Cumbria.

The awards reflect the work and dedication the CRC team and their partners have shown in making community projects a reality along the Cumbria Coast Line, the Furness Line and the Lakes Line.

The annual ACoRP (Association of Community Rail Partnerships) Community Rail Awards 2017 took place in Derby. With sponsorship as well as speakers and participants from the Department for Transport and multiple train and transport operators, it was the biggest awards event hosted by ACoRP so far. And it makes the achievement of the small team and their community partners’ all the more remarkable.

Community Rail is part of a UK wide movement dedicated to supporting community-based groups and partnerships that connect their community with their local railway and deliver social benefit.

Over the past year, Community Rail Cumbria has been involved in all aspects of the work from strategy and performance to flower planters at stations and supporting local station adoption groups. Their success has come about through the passion and energy that the members of the team bring to the three community rail partnerships and their efforts to coordinate a cohesive approach to community rail.  Community Rail Cumbria involves local authorities, passenger and freight rail companies Northern and DRS, major industries, small local businesses, rail user groups and volunteers.

The team has focussed on sustainable projects generating economic vitality and community cohesion. Projects have included local school and college art projects to long term infrastructure planning. New initiatives have attracted over £300,000 through funding bids in addition to financial support from local business partners including Sellafield Ltd and Windermere Lake Cruises.

In addition to the Outstanding Contribution award, Cumbria also celebrated other awards during a very successful evening at “The Roundhouse” in Derby.

The Friends of Kents Bank Station and Foreshore received a Silver Award for their enhancements to the station and gardens, adding to their Bronze Award last year.

Community Rail Cumbria was awarded a second prize for a uniquely inspirational project working with the Turning Point charity at Green Road station. A third prize for the Very Special Santa Special celebrated a magical Christmas train journey for vulnerable children from West Cumbria.  Another third prize was awarded to the Rail Room at Millom Station, a motivational education project which teaches via interactive and creative displays the railway’s role in West Cumbria’s industrial past and its current importance as a transport artery. 

Finally, a second prize was awarded to Tim Owen, Chairman of both the Furness Line and the Lakes Line Community Rail Partnerships in the Outstanding Volunteer Contribution category. Tim devotes many hours supporting two CRPs as well as volunteering with the Friends of Cark Station. He has coordinated bus-rail connections for Cartmel races as well as briefing consultants, checking timetables, lobbying and chairing meetings.

In total, six awards were collected, including the one for the Friends of Kents Bank Station, during a very successful evening for Community Rail Cumbria at the national awards this year.

Tim Owen commented: “I am delighted to see that the hard work of Community Rail in Cumbria has been rewarded. It is a high accolade indeed and recognises everyone’s passion and commitment to the cause.”

Cumbria County Councillor and Transport Portfolio holder, Keith Little, added: “This award pays tribute to the hard work of a small core team who influence and develop rail services and facilities across the county bringing a cohesive partnership approach involving the rail industry, local authorities, businesses and communities.”

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Community Rail Cumbria (CRC) celebrated unprecedented success at this year�s ACoRP Community Rail Awards.