Stations battle it out to be pride of the South East and the region’s champion in the World Cup of Stations
- This week the public can vote for their favourite railway station in the World Cup of Stations 2023,
- 48 stations from across Britain will compete in a series of Twitter polls via #WorldCupofStations or @RailDeliveryGrp
- The South East is one of four regions to battle it out on Monday 22 May in a bid to reach the final on Friday 26 May
- The tournament seeks to showcase community rail and the benefits the railways bring to residents, the environment and the local economy.
Five train stations across the South East will battle it out for a place in the final to be crowned ‘The UK’s best loved station’ and winner of World Cup of Stations 2023, the competition hosted by the Rail Delivery Group in partnership with the Community Rail Network.
This year’s competition takes place during Community Rail Week (22-26 May) to showcase community rail and the benefits railways bring to residents, the environment and the local economy.
The five stations in the South East that have been nominated are:
- Swaythling, Hants managed by SWR has been nominated as volunteers run a free shop which distributes surplus food from supermarkets to those who need it. Has been nominated
- Whyteleafe, Surrey managed by GTR has been nominated as the station hosts the local foodbank, run by June and a team of volunteers.
- Bognor Regis, West Sussex managed by GTR has been nominated as the 'Track Hub' is a welcoming space for startups and those looking for a co-working space, set up by the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership.
- Hollingbourne, Kent managed by Southeastern has been nominated as the former ticket office and booking hall has been transformed into a community space which opened in January 2023.
- Bishopstone, East Sussex managed by GTR,(one of four bonus stations selected by Tim Dunn) has been nominated as the Bishopstone's 'Friends of' group has brought this Art Deco station back to life, with the Old Parcel Room becoming a much-loved community hub.
Over 100 nominations were whittled down to 48 by TV presenter Tim Dunn in the competition that was last held in 2019. They now face each other in a series of mini-battles to be crowned World Cup of Stations champion 2023.
Each of the nominees are from one of 11 regions, with four bonus stations selected by Tim Dunn.
People can vote for their favourite South East station on Monday 22 May via #WorldCupofStations @RailDeliveryGrp or raildeliverygroup.com/WorldCupOfStations
Jacqueline Starr, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Day in, day out stations up and down the country are proving to be at the very heart of the communities and this year during Community Rail Week, we want to shine a light on the very best stations in England, Scotland and Wales.
“All of the stations are making a positive impact on their local community, whether that’s supporting local businesses, being used for a social space or making the local environment better by being more sustainable, whatever they’re doing to make a difference, we want to celebrate.”
Tim Dunn, TV presenter and shortlist judge, said: “I had the tricky task of selecting the shortlist of 48 stations - tricky, because it represents the work of 48 groups of chuffing ace volunteers.
“The time, energy and love each group gives is because of a love of our shared railway and their communities too. It might seem bonkers, but this competition showcases the hard work of hundreds countrywide, then amplifies and celebrates all in community rail. Remember: like a football World Cup, the winners each day need more and more support - in every battle, it's the one with the most votes who wins!”
Rt Hon Caroline Nokes, MP for Romsey and Southampton North, said: “Swaythling station is a fantastic example of where a community can really pull together to bring a station to life. The garden there is fabulous and a credit to all the hard work of the volunteers. I'm so thrilled it has been nominated for this award, it really deserves it!”
Over 1,200 stations across Britain are supported by station adoption groups, made up entirely of volunteers, that help to make stations welcoming and safe, bring people together and add value to their communities. Often the work of these groups extends beyond basic upkeep, incorporating community gardening and food growing, local arts projects, and workshops and visits with children and young people.
We received more than 100 nominations for stations to feature in this year's competition, recognising the efforts of so many across the country in the following categories:
- Creating social spaces – stations rejuvenated by local adoption groups who are creating spaces for the local community
- Supporting local business – adoption groups using station spaces to host and celebrate local businesses
- Education stations – educational spaces and workshops arranged by adoption groups held in their station
- Tourism stations – adoption groups using their station to promote local attractions
- Sustainable stations – environmental efforts by local community groups to improve their station’s green credentials
Media Relations Manager
Rail Delivery Group