We are so pleased to announce that Lord Digby Jones of Birmingham, a former Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry and Minister of State for Trade and Investment has become our Patron.
Lord Jones's backing is a powerful vote of confidence for our volunteer-led community rail venture which provides an efficient and effective way of enabling people from local communities to support their stations, bringing local character to the platforms, and restoring confidence in rail during the challenging times ahead.
The Community Station Partnership includes urban and rural stations and was created in 2020 to develop a people-powered venture that could benefit from collaborative planning, ideas sharing and cost-effective purchasing - resulting in landscaping enhancements all along the line and many joint ventures to promote the Hidden Gems of the localities.
Lord Jones says he is delighted to be the Patron of the Shakespeare Line CSP adding "The whole idea, its implementation & its hoped-for consequences are to be applauded."
The CSP was the brainchild of the long-established Rail User Group who saved the line from closure on two occasions in 1969 and 1984. The group, Shakespeare Line Promotion Group, set up the Friends of the Shakespeare Line during Lockdown 1 following work on the line securing volunteers so that each of the eighteen stations along the route were adopted by their local communities and we thank you as one of those adopters that has stepped forward recently or have been looking after your station for a longer period.
The purpose of the volunteer-led CSP is to secure funding, manage bulk purchasing and pool ideas from the communities so that the adopters at each station can concentrate on enhancing the environment at their stations and not have to worry about bureaucracy or using their own money to join station adoption groups etc
We are pleased that the Friends of the Shakespeare Line with your personal help and contribution have worked tirelessly throughout the year of pandemic and have secured over £30,000 in funding to support the volunteers and help bring your visions to life at their local stations along the whole route of the line.
The Treasurer of the Group, Fraser Pithie, says "What the CSP is all about is making life easier for the actual volunteers. It was formed so that the station adopters do not have to navigate bureaucracy or find their own funds to support their stations and communities. We are delighted that Lord Jones has become our Patron, and we look forward to this well-respected champion of business success being our figurehead and supporting our community."
Lord Jones added "I am delighted to be associated with the Friends of the Shakespeare Line and share their vision that this nation's local communities will sow the seeds of growth for the rail industry. With the vibrancy, innovation, and enterprise from a diverse and accomplished group of volunteers, I look forward to seeing the Friends of the Shakespeare Line flourish in 2021 and beyond."
Lord Jones announced his patronage via his twitter feed today: