• Client: South Western Railway
  • Service:
    • Strategy/Routemap |
    • Research
  • Specialism:
    • Social Impact & Trust Transition
  • Sector:
    • Other
  • Status: Complete
South Western Railway Local Needs Analysis

Following the publication of their first Social Value Report in 2021, South Western Railway (SWR) appointed Useful Projects to conduct a study into the local socio-economic and environmental challenges and opportunities facing communities in the South Western region. This aided the organisation in the process of developing a comprehensive Social Value Strategy.

With the SWR service area spanning 41 Local Authorities that are home to almost 7.5 million residents, we conducted a Local Needs Analysis to provide a detailed understanding of the key challenges and opportunities for residents, employees, and businesses across a range of economic, social, and environmental indicators.

Aligning with local and national priorities

Conducting a Local Needs Analysis is a key recommendation in our ‘Maximising Social Value from Infrastructure Projects’ report, co-funded by the Institution of Structural Engineers in 2020.

Using a desk-based study, we structured our analysis around 11 key themes, combining SWR’s 10 priority areas for Social Impact, feedback from Community Rail Partnerships, the Rail Social Value Tool impact areas, Seven Indices of Multiple Deprivation, and key issues arising from our own research.

The Analysis considered relevant policy documents from key stakeholders to ensure it aligns with local and national priorities, further to using publicly available quantitative and qualitative data to map the priorities for each service region. The output was a summary presentation, supported by detailed background research and a series of infographics.

The needs analysis was used to inform SWR’s long-term Social Value Strategy by identifying placed-based priorities, determining which communities to target for consultations, and informing interventions to maximise Social Impact. It also informed their Customer and Communities Improvement Fund and the communities and people section of the organisation’s Sustainability Strategy.

South Western Railway Local Needs Analysis
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