Image shows Northern trains at station

Northern DOUBLES improvement fund to £100k to help community groups ‘lead the charge’ on improving social mobility in deprived areas

Northern is making £100,000 available to community groups across the North of England with ideas of ways to support social mobility in deprived areas on its network.

The train operator’s Customer and Community Improvement Fund has opened for applications and is offering grants ranging from £2,500 to £20,000.

Schemes which focus on early careers, education outreach and inclusive employment – factors known to improve social mobility - are particularly welcome.

The closing date for applications is Friday, 7 June. For more information and details of how to apply, visit:

The money up for grabs this year is double what was available in 2023, when £50,000 was split between 12 projects that sought to tackle the issue of social isolation. 

Carolyn Watson, director of stakeholder and community engagement at Northern, said: “We know social mobility is a major issue for some of the communities across our network.

“The Customer & Community Improvement Fund is a way we can support local people to deliver initiatives and projects that they know will help improve the situation on the ground in those locations.

“This is an important part of our mission to ensure that Northern has a positive impact on the North.”

The 12 organisations that received grants from the Customer and Community Improvement Fund in 2023 were: YMCA Barnsley, Family Action, Bolton CVS, The Hub at Westhoughton, Brathay, Humber Job Hub CIC, Niamos Centre, Selby Coder Dojo, Divine Days Community CIC, Settle and Community Business Hub, Maverick Lab CIC and Featherstone Rovers.

Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK, with nearly 2,500 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England.

Contact Information

Northern Trains Press Office