IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TRANSPORT FOR WALES

COMMUNITY RAIL PARTNERSHIP

In partnership with Transport for Wales, 4theRegion is the host for a new kind of Community Rail Partnership that’s not just about trains. It’s about connecting the communities, destinations and businesses of South West Wales, in order to unleash the highest potential of South West Wales for greater economic, environmental and social well-being.

Our new Community Rail Partnership covers the four local authority areas of Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. It’s a platform through which a diverse ‘whole system’ mix of organisations, businesses, communities, people and key stakeholders can work together, not just on promoting sustainable travel and the visitor economy, but on opening up opportunities and access to skills, employment, local food, regional business, environmental regeneration, and strengthening our foundational economy.

A REGIONAL COLLABORATION

Partner logos of South West Wales Connected

Launched in mid-2020, our CRP has had to embrace new ways of working from the start, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, which has included conducting all our meetings remotely via Zoom.  This has turned out to be an advantage when it comes to creating a diverse, regional steering group.  As a result, our CRP is a model of co-production.  From choosing the name to agreeing the strategy, our decisions have been informed by discussion with around 50 members of our wider steering group.

If your organisation, business or community would like to work with the Community Rail Partnership to get good things done in local places, we welcome you to join our next virtual steering group meeting. 

ASSET BASED COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Part of our strategy involves hosting Shared Vision Meetings in communities around train stations in the region, bringing local people together to co-create a shared vision and set of priorities for improving their communities.  We have held three of these meetings during Autumn 2020, in Milford Haven, Haverfordwest and Llanelli, each attracting 40-50 local people representing a wide range of local organisations. 

Asset Based Community Development is an approach that asks “what’s strong, not what’s wrong,” within communities, and seeks to enable local people to make change happen for themselves on the things they care about.  We have found that local people really appreciate the opportunity to talk to each other about what they want to see happen in their local areas; and that many community members have ideas and projects that they would like to work on.

From each meeting, we emerge with a list of potential project ideas for placemaking and improving well-being, and an enthusiastic group of local people keen to take them forward.  Now, our goal is to support the community in turning these ideas into workable initiatives led by local people.  It has become clear that this facilitation and practical support is the “missing link” between the energy, gifts, skills and assets of community members, and change actually happening.

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