A series of schemes to connect communities to their railways have been shortlisted for prestigious national awards.
The projects promoted by Southeast Communities Rail Partnership were recognised by Community Rail Network in their annual awards.
The six shortlisted schemes are:
:: Bishopstone community hub on the Sussex Downs Line in the Most Enhanced Railway Spaces category
:: Friends of Angmering Station on the Sussex Coast Line at Gold level in the It’s Your Station category
:: Friends of Bishopstone Station at Silver level in the It’s Your Station category
:: Friends of Bishopstone Station chair Barbara Mine in the Outstanding Volunteer Contribution category
:: Chichester commemorates Trevor Tupper in the Community Creative Projects and Station Arts category
:: Community Rail Coronation Connections in the Most Effective Communications category
Tim Barkley, chair of Southeast Communities Rail Partnership Community Interest Company, said: “We are pleased that our projects have been shortlisted by Community Rail Network and that our collaborative approach with our partners has been recognised. Good luck to all the entrants.”
Bishopstone community hub was opened in the Old Parcel Room at the station in November 2022 after a five-year campaign led by Barbara Mine and the Friends of Bishopstone Station. The group of dedicated volunteers worked with Southern Railway, Network Rail, Department for Transport, Railway Heritage Trust, Community Rail Network and Southeast Communities Rail Partnership to secure funding for the work.
The art deco building was on English Heritage’s At Risk register. It is now a thriving hub with talks, events, classes and social gatherings taking place at the restored building.
Barbara Mine was named as one of the 500 Coronation Champions ahead of the coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla for her work in leading the Friends group.
Community Rail Coronation Connections was a series of news stories and social media posts in the run-up to the national event on 6 May to promote the environmental benefits of train travel to venues and locations with Royal links.
Trevor Tupper was involved with the West Sussex Rail Users Association from the 1980s and was Vice Chair of the Arun Valley Community Rail Partnership until his death in 2022. A commemorative bench was unveiled at his home station of Chichester in April.
The Friends of Angmering Station group was officially set up in 2018 and the group has taken on many projects including a wildflower meadow and Remembrance silhouette.
Jools Townsend, chief executive of Community Rail Network, said: “Our Community Rail Awards showcase the amazing projects, initiatives, and people across Britain that make community rail. This year we’ve received 200 submissions and as always, the standard of entries has been extremely high. We’re looking forward to joining our community rail colleagues and industry partners to celebrate their hard work, positivity, and dedication at our awards evening in March.”