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North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership has been awarded a grant totalling £3,000 to roll out two community projects to help develop and promote the North Staffordshire Line (Crewe-Stoke-Derby rail route).
The funds have been awarded jointly by the Department for Transport, Network Rail and the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP) through their Designated Community Rail Development Fund (DCRDF).
A total of £1,500 of the grant will be used to fund the development of a series of community artwork posters promoting both the environmental benefits of rail travel and tourist attractions along the route, which will be displayed at Longton station. The posters will be created by BTEC Art students from Sandon High School, Stoke-on-Trent, at a number of special teaching sessions led by accomplished local artist and sculptor Anthony Hammond.
The second half of the grant will support the design, print and distribution of a community newsletter for the service, including the new Crewe-Stoke-Derby December rail timetable. This will be delivered to homes within one mile of local stations along the route, including Alsager, Kidsgrove, Longport and Tutbury & Hatton, during January 2011.
Both projects are being match-funded by East Midlands Trains, member of the Partnership and train operator of the Crewe-Stoke-Derby service. At Longton station, East Midlands Trains’ Estates Team will be repairing and treating with anti-vandal paint the station underpass walls and fitting new poster cases there ready for the display of the students’ artwork.
Councillor Brian Ward, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for housing, planning and transportation, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded these grants from the DCRDF. The funds will help us involve young people to improve their local station and give them the opportunity to work with a distinguished local artist. Through the grant we will also be able to promote the local rail service, tourist attractions along the route and the work of the Partnership and station volunteers.”
Claire Ansley, Route Manager for East Midlands Trains, said: "It's great news that the North Staffordshire Community Rail Partnership is going to benefit from some additional funds to help promote and improve the line even further. We're committed to making improvements at stations throughout our network and the initiatives planned for Longton will really brighten up the station."