Customer and Community Investment Fund

Applications are now closed for funding for customer and community projects this year.

What is the Customer and Community Investment Fund?

The Customer and Community Investment Fund (CCIF), is a £500K fund, with the next round been available from April 21.  The fund allows LNER to work in partnership with charities, our customers and the communities located along the LNER route and provide financial support to causes that are of key importance to us.

The core themes the fund supports are mental health, education and employability skills, diversity and inclusion and environment and sustainable mobility.

What have we done so far?

As part of the 2018 – 19 funding round, we have delivered the following schemes and projects, in partnership with local stakeholders.

  • Signage and Wayfinding schemes which will better connect the station with the town centres in Grantham, Retford, Darlington, Newark North Gate and Berwick upon Tweed;
  • Subway improvements – better lighting, brighter cleaner interiors, improved paths and steps leading into the subways at Retford and Grantham;
  • Working with the Bee Friendly Trust to create attractive planting areas that will enhance the station environment and introduced a Bee Hive at Durham, which will help to support the local bee population;
  • At Water Bottle Refill point has been fitted at Retford Station;
  • Tree planting in partnership with Carbon Footprint, with trees been planted at 32 schools along the LNER route

Case study - Carbon Footprint

The aim of this project was to work with a tree planting company; to plant trees to offset the paper based products our business uses for timetables, train tickets and place mats. We identified Carbon Footprint and gifted £20K to buy 2800 trees which they have planted at 32 schools up and down the LNER route from Inverness to London.

We were invited to take part in a Tree Planting event at Weston St Mary’s Church of England School, based in Spalding. It was a fun day and a great opportunity to see how excited and interested the kids were in planting the tree. The trees planted will create a small wooded area which will be a massive benefit and provide learning opportunities for the school and all future generations. Sustainability and protecting the environment are core values for LNER and we’re focused on having a positive impact in the regions we serve.



John Buckley, Managing Director at Carbon Footprint said:

“LNER are taking a very responsible step in supporting native tree planting in the UK - and what better way to do this than in local schools, engaging kids as the environmental ambassadors of the future.”

Planting trees at schools is a perfect opportunity to get the kids involved and to teach them about biodiversity and the importance of trees. The planting itself is also a great interactive activity outside the classroom. As the trees grow many schools bring the monitoring of the trees into the lessons. In maths and science they can measure the growth of the trees during the different seasons of the year.

Planting tress not only provides missive benefits for the schools, but also for the local environment and ecosystem.

Projects that will be delivered as part of 2019/20 rounds

The 21 schemes in the below table will be funded from the previous round. For more details on each project click here to view a pdf of the projects.


Funded projects Charity, group or community group
Youth Mental Health First Aid South Tyneside Against Bullying
Positive mental health in the outdoors Roots and Shoots Highland CIC / Community Interest Company
Drinking water point at stations London North Eastern Railway
Communities United Newcastle United Foundation
Beeee Timetable Keptie Friends
Bringing Colburn Community Village Hall into the 21st Century Colburn Village Hall
Breakdown Lycentia
Disability Isn’t Inability Panathlon Foundation
Outings for those living with dementia Crocus Cafe
The Arches Projects Sage Gateshead
Walker into Work Ncl NE1
Get on Track project in Edinburgh Dame Kelly Holmes Trust
Travelling Classroom Highland Main Line Community Rail Partnership
Create and Share Jubilee Christian Fellowship (ACM) Trust.
The Internet of Curious Things Foundation for digital Creativity
Forest for Peterborough Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT)
Nene Valley Railway youth group Nene Valley Railway
BOY TICBox Productions as part of HyperFusion Theatre Company
On Track for the Future Reach Learning Disability
Garforth's Third Railway Station Ninelands Primary School

What are we looking for?

We are looking for projects that support our key themes of:

  • Mental Health
  • Education
  • Employability
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Community Rail Partnership’s
  • And the Environment and Sustainability.

However if your project does not fall within one of these areas, don’t be disheartened, as we may still consider projects outside of these areas. If you an idea you would like to run by us please contact the CCIF inbox

You can read more about the funding on the guidance form here

What we are not looking for?

  • Projects that will require ongoing funding;
  • Projects that have any commercial gain;
  • Projects that look to introduce new routes or additional train services; and
  • Feasibility studies for new stations.

Application timescales

1 July

  • Bidding process opens

27 September 

  • Bidding process closes


  • Applications are reviewed and shortlisted


  • Shortlist of projects shared with LNER Customer Panel, who will help to shape the final list of projects we would like to support.  


  • The list of projects we would like to support, are submitted to the DfT for final approval

January – March 

  • DfT will review the list of projects and make the final decision on which will be taken forward.

April 2020

  • Successful bidders notified.

How to apply

The applications for this round of funding closed on 27 September 2019. Please check back in the future for more opportunities for community funding.