Community Rail Lancashire and the South Fylde Line CRP have this morning discovered that they have been successful in securing a grant from the Designated Community Rail Development Fund.
The grant will be used for a project with a working title of ‘Blackpool Back on Track’. The project will help rejuvenate a run-down and neglected ‘end of the line’ station in the deprived South Shore area of Blackpool. A Friends of Station Group has adopted the station and started to brighten and improve the environment by regular work parties to clean the platform and keep the recycled plastic planters fresh and weed free.
The CRP has been working with local school, Thames Primary Academy, to develop some art work to be printed ‘poster style’ on Dibond and installed along the platform fencing and also for a ‘Welcome to Blackpool South’ board that will be installed on the disused side of the station. The school are hoping to use the station as an ‘outdoor learning centre’ and have been trained by staff from Parkview 4U.
The friends group also want to see additional planters installed and it is hoped that the school may be able to help with the maintenance of these. The children also are going to plant up an area of the disused embankment within an area safely fenced off by Network Rail and under an out of lease area licence. This area will also see a large bug hotel created out of recycled pallets.
The money will used to fund the cost of a local artist’s time for classroom sessions and for developing and preparing the artwork for the Dibond installations. It will also fund the actual printing costs of Dibond panels and posters and towards the cost of ‘welcome’ signage and towards the cost of providing additional recycled plastic planters for the station. It will also help procure the materials for the embankment planting and multi-storey bug hotel.
The success criteria of the project are:
+ To brighten a neglected and ‘hidden’ station to encourage more use of the South Fylde Line by the local community;
+ To get children form a local primary school involved in the day to day maintenance of planters at the station ;
+ To provide a safe and ecological environment for wildlife in an area not used by the public;
+ To create an ‘outdoor learning centre’ for the children from Thames School to use as a long term project: and
+ To use the project to promote the tourism and heritage aspects of the South Shore area of Blackpool using the station as a gateway.
The Designated Community Rail Development Fund (DCRDF) is a joint venture between the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP).