1.1: A Community Rail Partnership is a body established to encourage greater use of rail services by participation of local communities in their rail line and activities at and surrounding their stations. The Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership (MCCRP) has an emphasis on encouraging greater use of the County’s rail network to provide economic, social and environmental benefits to the region’s residents and visitors. On 19th May 2020, the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership was incorporated as a Community Interest Company (Private company limited by guarantee without share capital), company number 12611555. This constituted a change in the accountable body from Cheshire West & Chester Council to the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership CIC.
1.2: This Scheme of Governance does not constitute a Partnership under the Partnership Act 1980 or a contract of employment between the members of the Partnership and each of the members undertakes to make this clear, when relevant, in all its dealings with third parties.
The Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership brings together representatives of:
- local authorities;
- train operating companies;
- infrastructure providers;
- local businesses;
- education and social research sector; and
- community groups within the counties of CW&C, CEC and Greater Manchester.
1.3: The overall aim of the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership is to connect local communities with their railway, delivering social and economic benefit and increasing rail use, supporting this primary aim the MCCRP aims –
- To promote and develop the rail network in Cheshire for the benefit of local residents, the local economy, businesses and visitors through a partnership approach, along the Chester – Northwich – Knutsford – Altrincham – Stockport – Manchester railway line, and the Crewe – Liverpool Line to include the stations of Crewe, Winsford, Hartford and Acton Bridge only.
- To work with a range of partners and stakeholders for specific improvements at stations and to local train services.
- To encourage regeneration, sustainable development and social inclusion along the corridor served by the railway.
- To work with existing organisations to promote and support local and regional tourism initiatives.
- To promote integrated transport links to the railway, including Metrolink, bus, taxi, cycling and walking; to encourage good links to the national rail network at Chester, Stockport, Crewe and Manchester.
- To promote active community participation at stations.
- To work with a wide range of local partners to ensure that the railway plays a full part in the social, economic and environmental regeneration of the area.
- To help ensure that train services and stations are safe, secure and accessible to all.
- To promote the development of sustainable freight movements along the corridor.
- To promote the line as a conduit to the wider ‘national railway network’.
2: Key objectives
2.1: The key objectives of the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership are –
- To raise awareness of, promote and market the Line:
- encouraging residents to use the Line
- encouraging tourism partners to promote the Line
- encouraging visitors to use the Line
- encouraging schools to think train & use the train.
- To improve stations on the line
- To improve levels of community involvement on the Line
- To work with key partners to improve Mid Cheshire Line services and deliver partnership objectives
- Promote best practice sharing with other relevant partnerships and bodies
- Hold regular Steering Group meetings, quarterly unless otherwise agreed
- Liaise with other related partnerships and organisations on relevant issues
2.2: The MCCRP objectives will be underpinned by a primary economic, social and wellbeing focus to benefit communities and visitors served by railway stations in Mid Cheshire and will be subject to annual review by the partners. These will be aligned with the objectives set out in the Department for Transport Community Rail Development Strategy
To deliver these objectives the MCCRP will involve and work with
- The community through user groups; station partnerships; arts initiatives and improving links with local schools, colleges and the Universities of Chester and Manchester to develop activities such as rail safety awareness;
- Train Operating companies including Northern Rail, CrossCountry and Avanti West Coast or any successor rail franchisees to achieve their objectives for community rail partnerships in their franchise areas, as set out in their Community Rail strategic plan or any subsequent agreement;
- Local authorities, including Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire East Council, Trafford Council, Stockport Council and TfGM on behalf of Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
Key County level business, charity and social wellbeing organisations including but not limited to Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, Active Trafford, Active Cheshire, Princes Trust