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26 May 2009

Minister launches Stations Community Regeneration Fund

A new £1 million fund to help create new businesses and premises for community projects has been launched by Scottish Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson.

The Stations Community Regeneration Fund (SCRF) has been created to bring redundant or disused station buildings back into use for the benefit of passengers or the local community.

Funding is available from Transport Scotland to contribute towards the costs of structural repairs and to provide up to 50% of the costs of fitting out station premises for their intended use.

Applicants with new business ideas or projects which benefit rail passengers or the local community are invited to apply for a funding contribution.

The Minister launched the fund at The Ironing Station, an innovative business housed in the former waiting room at Dunblane Station.

The Ironing Station was set up in January 2006. Within five months the business had expanded to larger premises within the station and has continued to flourish ever since.

Mr Stevenson said:

"The Stations Community Regeneration Fund is a good example of how targeted investment can help stimulate economic growth.

"I believe this funding can help create a real win-win situation; passengers can benefit from improved facilities at stations, redundant buildings are brought back into use, and new opportunities for job creation and community involvement are opened up.

"Here in Dunblane, The Ironing Station demonstrates just what can be achieved – it has help regenerate part of the station building and has also created a thriving local business.

"I look forward to other similarly imaginative organisations coming forward with innovative proposals for station buildings in their own communities."

The Stations Community Regeneration Fund will be managed and administered by ScotRail with applications being evaluated by Transport Scotland. Funding for the scheme has been made available following the decision to extend the ScotRail franchise with FirstGroup until 2014.

The scheme is one of 28 initiatives which will benefit from an investment fund of more than £70 million, managed by Transport Scotland, which has been created to improve Scotland's railways.

The new fund will provide fresh impetus for ScotRail's Adopt a Station initiative, which is designed to encourage local involvement and put stations at the heart of communities.

Steve Montgomery, managing director of ScotRail said:

"Our Adopt a Station scheme has been a tremendous success and helps put stations at the heart of communities.

"We welcome this £1m commitment which opens up new possibilities across Scotland."

For more information see Stations Community Regeneration Fund
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