AT THE beginning of the week it stalled the Pokesdown station lifts project yet again.

But now South Western Railway is splashing more than £5 million on 'community' schemes across its network and wants locals to apply.

SWR's Customer and Communities Improvement Fund will invest £5.3m in community projects over the next years.

It's looking for projects based on its railway network to make a 'real, positive difference to people’s lives'.

"No matter how big or small, successful bids can include a wide range of schemes and activities, from diversity and outreach projects helping to open rail travel to more communities, educational campaigns, cycle schemes, through to full-scale building and refurbishment projects," said a spokesman.

Managing Director for South Western Railway, Andy Mellors, said: "The £5.3m fund is now open for applications and I encourage local authorities, community groups and other organisations to think about how the fund could address, educate or engage on social issues in order to make a real difference to people lives.

"No matter how big or small the project, we look forward to receiving your applications."

n More information here: SWR