In 2020, Northern agreed with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport, Transport for Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire Combined Authority to launch a £250,000 Accessibility Fund, dedicated to accessibility improvements for Northern rail services.
A fund dedicated to improving the accessibility of Northern
We are delighted to open a £250,000 Accessibility Fund where applications for specific projects that will make a positive difference to communities across the north of England.
For the first time, the fund will be led and overseen by the Northern Accessibility User Group (NAUG), an independently chaired pan disability user group, whose membership represents a range of disability groups and charities reflecting the communities served by Northern.
Northern are providing administrative support and railway expertise, working side by side with NAUG to ensure the success of the Accessibility Fund.
We’re currently looking for great nominations for projects or schemes to be delivered between April 2021 and 30 September 2022.
What are we looking for?
We’re looking for schemes or projects that will enable disabled and older people to travel with Northern, by improving the accessibility of Northern trains and stations for the communities we serve across the north.
The Accessibility Fund will consider a wide range of proposals which involve our trains and stations, or those that will bring benefit locally to using rail (which is pretty much anywhere in the north of England but check our route map if you are not sure).
We are open to all suggestions, but we’re keen to hear about projects in the following key areas:
Promoting the use of Northern services for older & disabled people
Travelling by train provides opportunities for work, leisure and social activities- awareness of how rail services can enable journeys and having the confidence to travel by train is vitally important for our everyone in our communities. Projects could include those which raise awareness of rail services or encourage people to travel for the first time by train.
Enhancing the station & train experience
Everyone has the right to travel independently and without stress or worry and we’d be delighted to review schemes that make Northern stations and services more accessible for everyone. This could include how information is presented at stations or the facilities provided.
Enabling more older & disabled people to travel by train
Northern’s network should be accessible to everyone and inclusive for people that may feel isolated or excluded. To enable everyone in our communities to travel, projects could include:
Awareness training for a particular disability, or Innovations which make train travel simpler and easier.
Ultimately any project or scheme which benefits our communities and is determined to be beneficial by the NAUG for disabled or older people using rail will be considered.
We are looking for projects of a maximum value of £50,000.
Match funding is not a requirement but will be looked at favourably, especially for schemes with a higher overall value.
What won't fit the bill
The Accessibility Fund is open to all great ideas but there are a few things that mean a project would not be eligible for funding. Successful applications must not:
- Require ongoing funding.
- Be feasibility studies into new products, services, new railway lines / routes or new stations.
- Be something Northern would be expected to deliver as part of day to day operations.
- Significant infrastructure works such as installing new lifts or crossings at stations.
- Schemes must be delivered within the identified time period, so anything with a delivery timescale beyond 18 months from April 2021 is not eligible.
I've got a great idea. How do I apply?
You need to complete the online application form. The form should be completed in a single visit, as it cannot be saved and returned to later. A PDF example is available here to help you make sure you have all the information ready that you will need.
Who can apply?
Applications are welcome from individuals, community groups, charities, not for profit organisations, and stakeholders such as local authorities.
What happens next?
Applications are now open and will be considered on a rolling basis from 12 March 2021.
All applications will be reviewed and assessed against the criteria above. A review panel of NAUG members, supported by Northern will collate a list of recommended projects to take forward.
Funding awards will begin from April 2021.