THE Turning Tides Project CIC based at Crediton Station Tea Rooms has used a grant for £18,950 to renovate its toilet facilities and make them accessible for disabled people.

The funding came from Great Western Railway’s Customer and Community Improvement Fund.

The project has had a positive impact on the local community and demonstrated how accessible toilets can be created while respecting a listed building and its heritage.

Now GWR is inviting bids for 2024-25. Schemes must show a link to the railway and address an area of social need.

Applications must be submitted via an online portal on GWR’s website here ( ), where there is also guidance notes on making a successful bid. All proposals must be submitted by 11.59pm on Monday, March 25.

Through the scheme last year GWR supported 52 projects totalling more than £900k.

As part of its National Rail Contract with the Department for Transport, the train operator is committed to supporting schools, colleges, councils, community and other not-for-profit organisations by aiding a number of initiatives.

GWR Regional Growth Manager (West), David Whiteway, said: “The Customer and Community Improvement Fund is a fantastic opportunity for us to invest in projects that really make a difference to our customers and communities at a local level. We’re really keen to stress that all bids must relate to rail and address an area of social need.

“We are particularly interested in schemes that benefit customers, increase rail travel, encourage carbon reduction, connect communities, people and places, support economic growth, promote inclusion and diversity, and educational programmes that support careers in rail or increase awareness and experience of public transport and rail safety.

“A good bid will show a strong level of community involvement and support and the proposal will have benefits that last beyond the duration of the project.”

Bids can vary in size, but GWR is particularly looking for small and medium bids to maximise the number of communities it can help.