Following close on the heels of their first place award in the ‘Influencing Positive Change’ category at the National Community Rail Awards 2019 for its ‘Dementia and Community Rail’ project, at the Telford International Centre early in October, the Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership (The Bentham Line) has now received Accreditation from the Department for Transport (DfT).
Accreditation is formal recognition by the DfT that the Community Rail Partnership (CRP) operates to a high standard and that its objectives and activities are supported by the Government.
Accreditation is in place to provide reassurance to others, including potential funders and partners that the CRP operates to high standards of governance and financial propriety; adopts a collaborative approach; is worthy of trust by others; and is a suitable entity for receiving public funds. Further, the Government considers the CRP a good representative of the local communities.
The CRP is one of the first to be accredited in the country and the second in the Northern network so far.
“We are excited to see the Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership, becoming the second community rail partnership to be accredited in the north of England. This really underlines the value of their work, engaging and benefitting local communities in connection with their local railway and stations, especially their ground-breaking work with industry partners creating Britain’s first dementia-friendly railway. As well as highlighting local needs and opportunities to rail industry partners, they have a keen focus on promoting sustainable and healthy travel, bringing local people together, and supporting wider access to opportunity.”
Jools Townsend, Chief Executive of the Association of Community Rail Partnerships
Gerald Townson, Chairman of the CRP, added: “We are delighted to be awarded this formal recognition by the DfT which will assist the Partnership in expanding its engagement with rail bodies, local councils, tourism groups and the communities along the route. We are keen to develop the Bentham Line further, in an inclusive and sustainable way, to make it a route where everyone is made to feel welcome and encouraged to make the best possible use of the increased services now available.”
Pete Myers, Stakeholder Manager at Arriva Rail North (Northern) said: “The Bentham Line CRP is a terrific organisation and we are proud to work with them on the myriad of projects that they get involved with, but it is official recognition that is just as important. Therefore, we are really pleased for this CRP to be Yorkshire’s first to receive accreditation from the DfT. It is well deserved and a credit to the hard work of the team over there in Bentham.”