Dear Susan

Invitation to apply for Customer and Communities Improvement funding

We are delighted that GWR is now in a position to be able to invite bids for a further round of Customer and Communities Improvement Fund (CCIF) allocations.  This will be for projects that can be delivered between April 2019 and March 2020 and bring community benefits and address areas of social need across GWR’s network. We anticipate that, subject to suitable approvals, GWR will have over £750k available for allocation to eligible schemes.

We have had three successful years of CCIF funding, supporting schemes and projects identified by the communities we serve. We want to keep delivering innovative and exciting schemes that support our customers and their local communities. To do that we need your ideas and your bids, and I do hope that you will look at the simple application form and guidance on

All the proposals will be presented to our Executive, and to a Steering Group made up of customer representatives from our Stakeholder Advisory Board and Customer Panels. Their final recommendations will then be put to the Department for Transport (DfT) for approval.

We want to encourage a variety of bids for projects of all shapes and sizes in the communities served by GWR. They must however relate to the railway in some way. It would be great if the fund could help close the gap on projects where some existing funding has already been secured or could be available from other sources.

Our bid guidance document encourages bids relating to education, outreach, railway history and heritage, station enhancements, cycling, provision of information, research, walking and transport integration. In the past we have supported schemes that have included station and car park infrastructure, information including connections to other public transport, outreach and help to support customers, destination marketing, training for employment, accessibility and diversity initiatives. We really want to see a wide range of ideas and have tried to make the process as easy as possible.

Schemes do need to be delivered within the twelve-month window of the 2019/20 financial year.

So that we can start the schemes in April 2019, we are asking for proposals for this first round of bids by 17:00 31st October 2018. This will give us time to review and seek DfT approval.

For more information and to discuss any ideas you have ahead of submission please contact Lewis Ward on He will be happy to talk about any suggestions and to clarify the process.

In previous years we have had annual bids totalling over £8 million for a pot of annual funding of c.£750k.  We can’t therefore guarantee success, but the more bids we have the more we can work to improve services to meet your aspirations. So please don’t hold back, we have kept the form deliberately simple to help and we want to hear from you.

We are very proud of the improvements that CCIF has delivered so far and looking forward to seeing what this year’s bid might include.

best wishes


Mark Hopwood | Managing Director | Great Western Railway
Milford House | Swindon | Wiltshire | SN1 1HL