South Western Railway (SWR) have announced a £5.3m fund for community projects across its rail network. The operator has launched a Customer and Communities Improvement Fund (CCIF) for projects that will help improve local communities.

SWR is seeking applications for projects based on its railway network that look to make a positive difference to people’s lives.

Andy Mellors, managing director for SWR, said: “The CCIF investment fund will help support projects that make a real difference to people’s lives in communities across our network.

“The £5.3m fund is now open for applications and I encourage local authorities, community groups and other organisations to think about how the fund could address, educate or engage on social issues in order to make a real difference to people lives.

“No matter how big or small the project, we look forward to receiving your applications.”

The CCIF will run every two years, until the end of 2024.

SWR is making £5.3m available for projects in this current period, which includes £100,000 designated for the Isle of Wight.

Successful bids can include a wide range of schemes and activities, from outreach projects opening rail travel to more communities, to full-scale building and refurbishment projects.

Accepted applications will be submitted to the Department for Transport by the end of the year, and funding of the successful project will begin in April 2020.

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