The South Fylde Line Community Rail Partnership has been fully accredited by the Department for Transport (DfT) for the third consecutive year. The accreditation is formal recognition by the DfT that a community rail partnership (CRP) operates to a high standard and that its objectives and activities are supported by the Government.
It also provides assurance to others, including potential funders and partners, that the South Fylde Line Community Rail Partnership conducts financial propriety, adopts a collaborative approach and is a trustworthy and suitable entity for receiving public funds.
In order to become accredited, the Chairman of the South Fylde Community Rail Partnership, Tony Ford, worked with volunteers to submit detailed reports outlining the achievements of the previous 12 months.
This included activities such as The Hidden Gems Art Project, the St Annes Wooden Owl Sculptures and the set up and organisation of a new Friends Group at Kirkham and Wesham train station.
Plans for the coming year include re-engagement with the local community following the Covid-19 pandemic, working with schools, reaching out to potential volunteers, improving station signage and links with local attractions.
South Fylde Line’s accreditation is one of many accreditations across the county, with all CRPs that operate as part of Community Rail Lancashire making successful bids.
Tony Ford, Chairman of the South Fylde Line Community Rail Partnership, welcomed the confirmation of accreditation (see photo above). He said: “This is excellent news. With all of the Lancashire Partnerships being re-accredited it shows that the excellent and innovative work of the staff of Community Rail Lancashire continues to impress.”
“Station friends groups from Preston to Blackpool South have worked hard to maintain the line’s success during what has been a challenging year. All credit to everyone involved and we look forward to an exciting 2022.”
Richard Watts, Chairman of Community Rail Lancashire added: “CRL is delighted that the South Fylde Line CRP has been successful in retaining its accreditation from the DfT.”
“This is a recognition of the hard work carried out by the Management Group for the CRP as well as the many station volunteers who do so much to keep the stations along the line welcoming gateways to the communities they serve.”
“It is also a tribute to the hard work of Tony Ford who as Chair of the CRP co-ordinates a lot of this activity. Tony is also Vice Chair of CRL. There are lots of plans for the development of the line so 2022 looks like being another busy and rewarding year. Well done to everyone.”
Leader of Fylde Council, Cllr Karen Buckley, is equally thrilled with the news. She said: “The dedicated work of the team of volunteers means we have many vibrant and beautifully maintained train stations across the borough.”
“We are lucky to have so many people who give up their precious time to help to keep Fylde fabulous. Even during the very difficult months of the pandemic, our stations were a sight to behold.”
“Huge congratulations to Tony and his team, as well as all the other lines across the county and Community Rail Lancashire for this well-deserved recognition of their continued high standards in all aspects of their work.”