Applications open for LNER's Customer and Community Investment Fund

18/08/23 Applications open for LNER's Customer and Community Investment Fund

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is encouraging charities, organisations and communities across its 956-mile route to apply for funding from its Customer and Community Investment Fund (CCIF).

The Fund aims to make a difference to people’s lives, supporting projects that focus on mental health, education and employability skills among marginalised groups, diversity and inclusion and environmental sustainability. More than 130 projects have received funding over the past five years.

Applications for the latest funding round can be submitted up until 24 September 2023.

David Flesher, Commercial Director at LNER, said: “Our customers and communities are at the heart of what we do. We are proud to support fantastic projects across the LNER route through our Customer and Community Investment Fund. These projects really make a difference to people’s lives, from enhancing their wellbeing to helping them develop new skills.

“This year we are focusing on the environment and sustainability with biodiversity and sustainable travel initiatives among the categories. We’d love to see as many applications as possible from right along the LNER route. I’d encourage anyone looking to apply to visit our website to find out more.” 

Those applying need to be located within 10-15 miles of the East Coast Main Line where there is an identified social need, and outline how their project will help create a more inclusive, prosperous, and connected community.

Samaritans, a charity which provides emotional support, is one of the organisations to receive funding in the latest round for projects supporting communities on the LNER route, including in London, Lincoln, Hull, Perth and Aberdeen.

Among the environmental projects is Canal and River Trust, which cares for more than 2000 miles of canals, rivers, reservoirs and docks.


The funding has been used to create a network of floating ecosystems along Regent’s Canal, which runs through the heart of London, providing a wildlife habitat and improving biodiversity.  

Ros Daniels, Canal & River Trust regional director for London & South East, said: “For millions of Londoners, our charity cares for are a piece of outdoor space they can call their own. But they are also an important corridor for wildlife, providing a linear park twice the size of Hyde Park.

“Greening projects like the floating ecosystems on the Regent’s Canal at King’s Cross provide vital habitat in a pressured urban environment, increase biodiversity, and help improve water quality.

“With rising costs and increased pressure on our network from climate change and extreme weather, our charity simply wouldn’t be able to afford to make projects like these happen without generous financial support from partners like LNER.”

Charities and organisations in Doncaster, Leeds, York, North Yorkshire and the North East have also received funding.


MHA supports communities in West Yorkshire and the North East and works to improve the lives of older people. Kirsty Millward, MHA Trusts & Foundations Officer, said: “We have been able to organise almost one hundred day trips for members to meet up, enjoy each other’s company and make memories thanks to the funding from LNER’s CCIF. Everything from days out to the seaside and visits to garden centres and stately homes, has really made a difference to 2,741 older people.”

In Scotland, groups in Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, and Edinburgh have received funding.


Among the projects is When You Wish Upon a Star, a charity which grants the wishes of children and young people aged 4-16 who live with life threatening illnesses. Judith King, Regional Fundraiser Scotland at When You Wish Upon a Star, said: “We are thrilled LNER has chosen to support our mission of granting Wishes to children who live with life threatening illnesses. 

“Opportunities could be respite holidays, going in search of Nessie, Harry Potter studios, day trips on the LNER network, or supporting seasonal visits to Christmas markets in the UK. These experiences can help families to gain strength, courage and resilience to carry on.

“We can’t thank LNER enough for choosing to support the work of When You Wish Upon a Star.”

Findhorn, Nairn and Lossie Rivers Trust has been awarded funding enabling the team to record the current ecological status of the river and its surrounding ecosystem and monitor changes.

Further details about CCIF applications can be found here.

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