THE Community Rail team on the Heart of Wales line have been honoured for their work promoting tourism across Wales and into Shropshire.
At the Association of Commuity Rail Partnership’s annual award ceremony, the Heart of Wales Development Company picked up the award for tourism and heritage.
The Heart of Wales Line Trail Steering Group had set out to create a long-distance walking trail linked to the line, known as one of the most scenic in Britain.
Their three core aims were to;
- encourage sustainable tourism;
- encourage healthy outdoor activity and the use of public transport, particularly on the Heart of Wales Line;
- promote local produce and local businesses/accommodation such as B&Bs, camping, cafes and pubs as part of the visitor experience.
The first part of the trail was completed back in 2017, and the launches of each subsequent section have all been accompanied by professionally-led walks and talks from high-profile regional speakers.
After further launches in 2018, the final section, and therefore the full trail, was opened in March this year with a highly anticipated grand launch at Llandrindod Wells Station.
Lisa Denison Development Manager of the Heart of Wales Devco said: “A huge amount of work has gone into promoting the line in recent years and we really do have so much to offer.
“We developed the walking trail to link in with our services and have been delighted with the amount of interest in it. So to win the ACoRP award, we’re delighted and it reenforces just how much commitment there has been for promoting our wonderful Heart of Wales line.”
Linking Swansea to Shrewsbury and passing through four counties, Transport for Wales’ Heart of Wales services call at more than 30 stations, 28 of which are solely on the line.
Head of Community Rail at Transport for Wales Hugh Evans said: “There’s no doubt that the efforts of our Heart of Wales partnership have made a massive difference in promoting the Heart of Wales line.
“The line serves so many communities, each with it’s own unique charm and character, and through our railway we are able to promote them to such a wide audience and share the beauty of south and mid Wales and Shropshire wih so many of our customers.
“The award is fully deserved and I’d like to thank Lisa, the development company and all our community volunteers up and down the line who make it such a special place.”
Jools Townsend, chief executive, ACoRP, said: “The Community Rail Awards celebrate the passion and hard work of those involved in community rail. But they also play a critical function. They help us to share good practice and champion community rail. They also help to build understanding of community rail’s role, making a vital contribution to social inclusion, sustainable development, and health and wellbeing.