Customer and Community Investment Fund

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

Update on Customer and Community Investment Fund


The opportunity to apply for funding is now closed, for further details on the timescales please see application timeline below.

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.

2019/2020 CCIF Projects

Learn more about the projects we've supported by viewing our factsheet and watching our video.

CCIF Factsheet

What have we done so far?

As part of CCIF, we've supported projects that have been delivered in partnership with charities and community groups. For more details on these projects 2019/2020 projects list.

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 the 2020/21 round

For information on projects currently being delivered, please read our CCIF project list.

CCIF project list

What are we looking for?

We are looking for applications located within 10 – 15 miles of the east coast mainline, 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 - 22 February 2021
  • Applications closed - 2 April 2021
  • Applications are reviewed and shortlisted – by end of April 2021 
  • 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 – by end of May 2021
  • The list of projects we would like to support are submitted to the Department for Transport for final approval – by end of June 2021
  • Department for Transport will review the list of projects and make the final decision on which will be taken forward

  • Successful applicants will then be notified

How to apply

The CCIF online application is now closed.

Thank you for your submissions to date, we're now busy reviewing and shortlisting these.


LNER Providing ‘Lifeline’ To Charities and Community Initiatives

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is proud to support communities and organisations along the East Coast, as it announces the latest beneficiaries of its annual £500,000 Customer and Community Investment Fund (CCIF).