Fylde Council has allocated a £20,000 fund to community groups that carry out work at train stations along the South Fylde line. Volunteer groups working at the stations from Squires Gate through to Kirkham and Wesham work tirelessly gardening, planting, tending raised beds, improving signage and providing bird boxes in conjunction with the wider local community.
These community groups will now be able to make bids to support their projects. The South Fylde Line Community Rail Partnership will be responsible for managing the grant allocation.
The money comes from the Government’s Welcome Back Fund which aims to help local authorities create and promote a safe and welcoming environment for local trade and tourism.
Councillor Karen Buckley, Council Leader, explained, ‘We’re delighted to make £20,000 of funding available to support the exceptional work carried out by the many community groups along the line. In supporting the local economy, we want to help boost the look and feel of attractions and services across the borough. The South Fylde Line – used by tourists and locals alike – is a valuable part of the area’s infrastructure, making it a major asset to Fylde’s recovery. We sought the assistance of the Community Rail Partnership as their experience and understanding of the community groups and the needs of the stations means they are perfectly positioned to ensure every group has an opportunity to gain funding for the right projects.”
Tony Ford, Chairman of the South Fylde Line Community Rail Partnership, responded, ‘It’s fantastic to see this funding become available to projects along the South Fylde Line. These stations play a vital part in creating the all-important first impression visitors get when arriving in our beautiful area. There are a number of criteria that bids will have to meet as the grant must be spent on initiatives that fall within the scope of the Welcome Back Fund guidance. These include things like improving green spaces, planting flowers, improving signage, removing graffiti and investing in seating and other facilities. I’m looking forward to seeing the proposals and the subsequent successful activities helping make the stations bright, beautiful and welcoming to all.’