Who we are.
The Sussex Community Rail Partnership (SCRP) has local communities at the heart of its work. The Partnership was formed 10 years ago and has developed an extensive knowledge and understanding of the railway across its area. It has been closely involved in two franchise renewal situations in that time. Over the 10 years we have developed a close working relationship with ‘Southern’, the Train Operating Company (TOC) at local area and head office level which we regard as important, while maintaining the role of critical friend.
We regard it as the TOC’s task to run and market the railway and the SCRP’s task to develop strong community interest in improving services and facilities resulting in increased use of the railway by both local communities and visitors.
The SCRP is managed by volunteer directors drawn from the SCRP who provide partner, local and independent expertise. Originally part of Action in Rural Sussex it is has now developed into a not for profit Limited Liability Company and has been operating for over 5 years, never making a loss but, in accordance with its Memorandum and Articles, ploughing back any small profit each year into the work of the SCRP. Currently, it employs two full time and three part time staff based in offices across Sussex which have been provided by the TOC.
What we do
The SCRP works in partnership with community groups, its funding partners, Local Authorities and the private sector to support the use and enhancement of local railway stations along the 5 lines it covers. Typically the SCRP organises or supports local activities, greatly helped by volunteers and partners. And these can include coffee mornings, charity events at stations, landscaping at stations, supporting local communities to adopt their local station, safety events, working with local schools, organising walks, cultural events and carols around Christmas trees in stations in December. The SCRP also has stalls at village and town fairs, all these activities help publicise the railway and the potential trips that visitors and the local community can make.
Each Line Group has an agreed Action Plan which is implemented by the responsible Community Rail Officer and progress against the Plan is monitored on a regular basis by the Line Group. The Actions Plan for 2014 can be found at on the reports page.
At the present time the SCRP is responsible for three Local Sustainable Transport Fund projects in association with the relevant transport authority/ National Park and a county council young person’s rail project. In addition to the officer time it has been estimated that the directors provide over 1,000 volunteer hours per annum.
The SCRP is well placed to draw together local communities, local authorities and the railway industry. A number of examples of our activities are set out in the 2013 SCRP Annual Report which can be viewed at reports page.
The SCRP pays particular attention to:
- Business regeneration,
- Sustainable tourism,
- Encouraging volunteering,
- Environmental enhancement,
- Encouraging sustainable travel and modal shift, and
- Improving security and the perception of safety in and around stations and on trains
How we are funded
SCRP’s core activities are funded by a variety of public and private bodies led by the TOC and also including local authorities and Gatwick Airport Ltd. We deliver work agreed with those Partners to agreed Action Plans which are then monitored to ensure satisfactory progress. In addition, smaller projects are undertaken on individual lines after successful application for funding. We also apply for grants from outside bodies whenever an opportunity arises.
To find out more please contact us