Customer and Community Investment Fund

For details on the fund, the application timeline, and how to apply for funding.

What is the Customer and Community Investment Fund?

LNER’s annual £500,000 Customer and Community Investment Fund (CCIF) supports charities, our customers and the communities of our route, focusing on the causes that are of key importance to us.

The core themes the fund supports are mental health, education and employability skills amongst marginalised groups, diversity and inclusion, social mobility for vulnerable groups and environment and sustainable travel.

The opportunity to apply for funding from the 2021/22 CCIF will open in early 2021.

What have we done so far?

As part of the 2019-20 funding round, the following schemes and projects have been delivered, in partnership with charities and community groups. For more details on these projects please read.


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

Communities United

Newcastle United Foundation

Beeee Timetable

Keptie Friends

Bringing Colburn Community Village Hall into the 21st Century

Colburn Village Hall

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

Create and Share

Jubilee Christian Fellowship (ACM) Trust.

The Internet of Curious Things

Foundation for digital Creativity

Nene Valley Railway youth group

Nene Valley Railway


TICBox Productions as part of HyperFusion Theatre Company

On Track for the Future

Reach Learning Disability

Garforth's Third Railway Station

Ninelands Primary School

Business In the Community


Aspire to Believe

Project Bee Enterprising

East Haven Railway

East Haven Railway Heritage project

Lord Taverners

Wicketz – Hull and Peterborough

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 – timetables, reservation tickets, place mats in first class etc. Out of this we identified and decided to work with Carbon Footprint, whom we gifted £20K. With this funding they purchased 2800 trees which they have planted at 32 schools up and down the LNER route from Inverness down to London. Please see Appendix C.

We also had chance to be invited to take part in a Tree Planting event at Weston St Mary’s Church of England School, which is based in Spalding. It was really fun day had by all involved, and great 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 that attend the school. 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 great fun for the kids, as they get stuck in with an interactive activity outside the classroom. Following the planting the children can help look after the trees whilst they grow, maybe by providing some water during any extended dry periods. As the trees grow many schools bring the monitoring of the trees into the lessons. E.g. 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 eco system.

  • Trees are essential to maintaining our climate and biodiversity. Trees contribute to the global environment by improving air quality, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife. During the process of photosynthesis, trees take out carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produce the oxygen we breathe; and
  • Trees are the largest plants on the planet and the longest living species on earth, providing a link between the past, present and future. Some Oak trees for instance can live for over 1000 years, so a woodland planted today could easily outlive all of us and provide a long term carbon store.
  • As the trees planted will provide children with shaded areas from the sun and also reduce noise;
  • They provide homes for insects and other invertebrates;
  • They provide wildlife corridors – such areas can help small animals and birds move from tree to tree until they find a safe habitat to nest in;
  • As well as sequestering carbon dioxide, trees also act as a physical filter trapping dust and absorbing pollutants from the air improving the air quality for the children; and
  • Research has also shown that trees help to reduce stress.

Projects that will be delivered as part of 2020/21 rounds

Further details will follow. Check back at a later date for more information.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for applications, where there is an identified social need. Which outlines how the project will work with the community to mitigate the social need and therefore help to create a more inclusive, prosperous and connected community.

For further information on what we are looking for in an application, and what is outside the criteria, please read the Charitable Giving Policy.

If you have any questions about a CCIF application, please contact the CCIF inbox

What will a good application include?

  • An application that clearly links in with one of the following areas - mental health, education and employability skills amongst marginalised groups, diversity and inclusion, social mobility for venerable groups and environment and sustainable mobility.
  • A factual but concise project scope outlining why financial support is needed;
  • Budget breakdown of funding request, overall project budget and key project milestone;
  • Details on whom the primary beneficiaries are and numbers of beneficiaries; and
  • What benefits will be delivered initially and a mechanism for measuring the benefits and impact.

Application timeline

  • Applications open - date to be advised.
  • Applications are reviewed and shortlisted.
  • Shortlist of projects will be shared with the LNER community and customers, who will be asked to 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 Department for Transport for final approval
  • Department for Transport will review the list of projects and make the final decision on which will be taken forward.
  • Successful applicants notified.

How to apply

Applications are submitted online using the CCIF application form. Once completed and the application has been submitted for review, you will receive a confirmation message on the screen.

The CCIF application form will go live later this year

The below guidance sheet provides you with useful information to help you make a successful application.

LNER CCIF guidance sheet