The Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company was formed in 1992 as limited by guarantee, not for profit partnership to encourage sustainable commercial development. Senior figures in the region formed the company to provide a powerful network to stimulate appropriate development involving all the local authorities and public sector bodies in the region surrounding the railway.
The Company moved from strength to strength and now handles the promotion of both the Settle-Carlisle line and the route between Leeds, Lancaster and Morecambe. A comprehensive program of projects are agreed each year by a promotions group which involves Local Authorities, The Train Operating Company, the two Tourist Boards and the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle line. Projects include the production of the full colour lineguide/timetable twice a year, funding the guided walks programme and leaflet and the operation of the Dales railcard scheme.
Development Projects are looked at by the Projects Team who have been instrumental in funding major infrastructure projects along the line such as three new waiting shelters, a new footbridge at Kirkby Stephen and heritage lighting at Settle station.
One innovative area to be tackled by the company was the expansion of ticket sales at Settle and Appleby stations. The Development Company now handles the retail management. This locally based management now has Appleby Station leading the group travel sales with close co-operation from Settle. Customer satisfaction continues to bring more groups to the area, which represents a major part of the revenue for the route.
A more recent initiative by the Development Company has been the introduction of a refreshment trolley service on some services on the line. This facility is enhancing the travel experience for passengers whilst travelling on the line.
The partnerships managed by the Development Company ensure that groups work together to enable a cohesive management of all issues and successful delivery of objectives for both routes. Much of the work undertaken by the Development Company is used as a blueprint for other Railway Partnerships throughout the country.