Lions Barber Collective-2

Apply for funding now: New Community Fund open for applications

A new Community Fund launched by Great Western Railway is now inviting applications to support local communities and address areas of social need.

From funding Barbershop collectives to helping young people enjoy rural spaces, as part of GWR’s franchise agreement with the Department for Transport, the train operator is committed to supporting schools, colleges, councils, community and other not-for-profit organisations by aiding a number of initiatives.

Find out more

Now, GWR is calling for ideas and bids of all shapes and sizes for the year ahead. They must show a link to the railway and address an area of social need or provide a community benefit.  Schemes should reach completion by end of March 2023.

If you have an idea, GWR wants to hear from you

Each proposal will be treated on its own merits and consideration of the benefit it would bring to the community.

Please click here for further guidance notes and to submit your application. All proposals must be submitted by Monday 27 June.

GWR Business Development Director Tom Pierpoint said:

“The Community Fund is a fantastic opportunity for us to invest in our communities in projects that really make a difference at a local level.

“We have had a really broad range of bids that have been successful in the past; they range from small infrastructure projects at stations or close to the railway, to outreach programmes to projects focusing on inclusion and diversity and to feasibility and research studies. They might be about promoting rail travel, supporting economic and environmental goals or making the railway more accessible and integrated with active travel.

“We are committed to improving the journeys of our passengers, as well as the economic prosperity and social footprint of the regions and communities we serve; and want to see new ideas and as many bids as we can get.”

Samaritans volunteers 1.

Recently successful projects have included:

  • £16,000 for a scheme to transform a run-down goods shed into a flagship social enterprise and community hub in Llanelli
  • £25,000 grant to the Lions Barber Collective to train barbers as mental health advocates: who hosted a pop-up barbershop where men could get a free haircut and discuss their mental health at the same time
  • £15,500 grant to help youngsters explore rural places in Gloucestershire as part of a series of activity days including creative rural workshops exploring themes such as film, VLOG development, music and art
  • £64,000 grant to support Samaritans’ life-saving work and mission to reduce the number of people who die by suicide
  • £45,000 grant to help Torbay Council in its ambition to make the area more ‘child friendly’, providing work experience opportunities for up to 50 young people
  • £40,000 grant to support three community rail projects encouraging more customers on the North Downs Line

Notes to editors 

First Greater Western Limited, trading as “Great Western Railway” (GWR), operates trains across the Great Western franchise area, which includes South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, across southern England and into London. GWR provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services, and before the covid-19 pandemic helped over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year. 

Contact Information

James Davis

Media Relations Manager

Great Western Railway

0845 410 4444

07703 890 711