CRL - Community Rail Lancashire

Community Rail Awards Shortlist

Community Rail Lancashire and The Bentham Line CRP are pleased to announce that it they have had a total of six of their entries into this year’s Community Rail Awards shortlisted. The six are as follows:

Category 1A – Involving Young People – Rose Grove Revived

Rose Grove Revived was a £150,000 programme of works to improve the customer environment at the station. The scheme saw the installation of a new shelter, additional seating, CCTV, customer information screens (CIS) and a ticket vending machine (TVM).


Community Rail Lancashire further enhanced the project with the installation of additional CRP branded notice boards and with an art project developed by Padiham Green Primary School and Lowerhouse Junior School. The art project has been supported by a grant from the Designated Community Rail Development Fund (DCRDF) and saw local artist Alastair Nicholson working with a class of children from each school to produce a colourful mural installed on the fence at the end of the platform and also an impressive steel sculpture at the station entrance.

Category 1B – Involving Diverse Groups – All Together Now

All Together Now is an award winning and innovative Community Rail Lancashire project that engaged with college students, primary school children and disadvantaged adults to rejuvenate the rural village railway station at Pleasington.

Located on the Blackpool South to Colne line, and a request only stop, the station is served Monday to Saturdays by an hourly diesel service (two hourly on Sundays) serving Preston and Blackpool South to the west and Blackburn, Burnley Central and Colne to the east.

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Pleasington station was in need of some TLC to help restore local pride and create a more suitable gateway to the area. It had a rather underwhelming station environment with old and dirty barrel roofed shelters on each platform, overgrown vegetation, broken fencing and limited seating.

Having secured £2000 from the Abellio Best Practice Challenge in 2015 to support diversity and equality outcomes within a community project, Community Rail Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and local artist Alastair Nicholson set about eliciting support from a variety of groups and organisations with a mix of ages and abilities to form a strong partnership between the railway and the local community that would transform the station environment. To read the full report click the link here: All Together Now.

Category 3 – It’s Your Station – Bentham

The Friends of Bentham Station have worked hard over the last five years to improve their local station for the benefit of the community. Working with the Bentham Line CRP they have introduced an award winning planter sponsorship scheme, and working with Network Rail have cleared the embankment on the Lancaster bound side of the station.

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The volunteers work year round to keep the station spick and span and to keep the flower tubs, planters and window boxes full of seasonal flowers.

Category 7A – Best Community Engagement Event – Day In The Life Of Bentham

The Day In The Life Of Bentham was a photographic competition and exhibition. On Wednesday 29th July 2015 the Friends of Bentham Station (FoBS) asked everyone in Bentham to take photographs of anywhere, anyone or any event in the whole parish between the hours of 00:00 & 23:59:59. The photographs were posted on a gallery page linked to the ‘We Are Bentham’ local trader’s association Facebook pages, as well as the FoBS and CRL websites.

People's Coice - Dominic Blake

People’s Coice – Dominic Blake

The project was successful in securing a grant of £750 from Champion Bowland, and contributions from We Are Bentham (£300) and Bentham Businesses (£150) and FoBS (£150). The project also received a grant of £500 from the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) Small Grants Fund.

Category 7B – Best Marketing Campaign – Welcome Pack

Community Rail Lancashire has continually challenged itself to identify new ways in which to showcase our local community rail lines and attract more passengers. Using a variety of communication methods and media formats we have successfully raised the profile of local rail travel amongst our resident population and visitors to the area – however with increasing pressure for housing development in order to try and ensure more sustainable and connected communities we decided to try something different.

The idea of producing a Welcome Pack for residents of new housing developments was the outcome of discussion at our Clitheroe Line Community Rail Partnership management meeting. Informed that the Local Plan Housing Strategy for the Ribble Valley was to deliver 5,600 new homes by 2028 and a further 9,365 net additional dwellings down the line in Blackburn with Darwen it was clear a new market would emerge requiring rail information and advice.


The welcome pack contains a copy of the current timetable for the line together with information about the various rail cards and ticketing incentives on offer along with a selection of relevant leaflets produced by the CRP were also included. Ribble Valley Rail the User Group for the Clitheroe to Blackburn Line also produced a membership form to be included in the pack.

Category 7B – Best Marketing Campaign – Rail to Trail

Rail to Trail is a series of 12 self-guided walks along the Bentham Line, developed by The Bentham Line CRP and the Lancaster and Skipton Rail User Group. The walks combine into a 68 mile linear walk starting at Heysham Port through to Skipton.


Walk 3

The Bentham Line provides access to spectacular scenery, and a self-guided walk is a great way to see the surrounding Lancashire and Yorkshire countryside. The walks, a number of which follow ancient paths, offer the opportunity to explore the Lune, Wenning, Ribble and Aire valleys and pass through many villages each with their own unique charm and character. The programme of walks has been designed to appeal both to the experienced walker and to the leisure walker who enjoys a varied but not too demanding walk. The easier walks may be attempted by families with children.

The walks are being publicised with an introductory leaflet that can be picked up at each station from special dispensers and also via a full size poster.

Bentham Line CRP Chair Gerald Townson and Brian Haworth, a Community Rail Development Officer with Community Rail Lancashire, both have photographs shortlisted in Category 6 – Photo Competition – ‘The Essence of Community Rail’ Image.

A full list of all the shortlisted entries has been published and can be seen by clicking this link: CRA 2016 Shortlist.