SLC Rail and SLC Property have announced a new corporate charity partnership agreement with Community Rail Network.  This will see the rail and property experts provide a range of specialist advice to Community Rail Network to help them continue to keep stations at the heart of the community.

Community Rail Network is a network of over 75 community rail partnerships and 1,200 station adoption groups, all playing an important role in social inclusion, community wellbeing and sustainable, healthy travel.

As part of this partnership, SLC will provide a financial donation and a contribution of its in-house expertise to help Community Rail Network’s members to successfully spearhead community-led initiatives bringing disused station buildings into community use and turning stations into community hubs. This will include helping them to engage with station masterplans, develop how the station interfaces with the local community, and negotiate property lease arrangements, asset ownership, regulatory consents processes and more.

“We believe that railway stations should be a vital part of the community they serve.”

Ian Walters, Managing Director of SLC Rail, said: “We have a strong passion for how the railways can contribute to social, economic, and sustainability goals.  As part of our work to improve connectivity for local people, we believe that railway stations should be a vital part of the community they serve.

“That’s why we’re delighted to support Community Rail Network’s valuable work, and by sharing our industry and projects experience we can help to develop and deliver these important local rail schemes. There’s lots we can do to make a difference and we’re looking forward to getting started.”

Julie Throssell, Director of SLC Property, said: “We know from supporting our clients with land and planning needs that the rail industry can be particularly complex, and even community rail projects must follow the same rules. Therefore, with our guidance, we can help support Community Rail Network in delivering community rail projects throughout the UK.”

Jools Townsend, Chief Executive of Community Rail Network, said: “Community Rail Network is all about empowering communities, bringing people together, and increasing access to sustainable travel and the opportunities it opens. We support and champion hundreds of volunteer groups and community organisations across Britain running diverse activities like arts projects and gardening at stations, bringing disused station property back into community use, and initiatives to link up rail with buses, walking and cycling to make green and healthy journeys easier.

“We depend on support from businesses like SLC, who share our passion for community rail and making a difference to communities. We are delighted to welcome SLC Property and SLC Rail as corporate partners and look forward to working with them to help community rail to increase its impact, especially bringing stations into the heart of communities.”

Find out more about Community Rail Network here.