An Introduction to the Dales & Bowland Community Interest Company
Dales and Bowland Community Interest Company (D&BCIC) is a subsidiary of Friends of the Dales. The CIC is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit social enterprise. Friends of the Dales set up the company in 2007 and continue to help with administration, passing across donations and Gift Aid from third parties and making an annual grant towards the costs of providing the DalesBus network.
D&BCIC aims to help create the Friends of the Dales’ vision of a “Sustainable Future for the Dales” by working with partner organisations to support and develop sustainable transport into and around the Yorkshire Dales area. It manages a network of weekend public DalesBus services, providing access into and around the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and also promotes other public transport services in the area.
For details of bus and train services in the Dales please visit DalesBus.
The CIC has its own independent board of directors who are all unpaid volunteers working in partnership with commercial rail and bus operators, community transport operators, user groups, local attractions and other businesses and local authorities. The CIC directors determine the routes, timetables, fares, and ticketing as well as undertaking the marketing, fundraising and management of the network of around 14 Sunday and Bank Holiday bus services which operate during the summer months, with a smaller network during the winter. DalesBus is the CIC’s registered trademark.
The CIC does not own or operate any vehicles. All services are competitively tendered from local commercial operators to ensure best value-for-money. The CIC does not compete with existing commercial routes but rather identifies where there are gaps in existing service provision to places where people want to go, particularly on Sundays and Bank Holidays, and so enabling people from the main conurbations in West Yorkshire, Lancashire and the North East to access the Yorkshire Dales National Park as well as the Forest of Bowland and Nidderdale AONBs without a car.
DalesBus services are not commercial and the costs of providing the bus services are only partly covered by fares and reimbursement for passengers using concessionary passes. The funding gap is filled by financial support from West Yorkshire Combined Authority (Metro) and increasingly by sponsorship from commercial and charitable organisations, donations from organisations such as user groups and town/parish councils, and individual donations.
The annual funding requirement for the DalesBus network is around £150,000 and in addition to core financial support from WYCA (Metro), D&BCIC has been fortunate to secure sponsorship from many businesses, charitable trusts and other organisations such as parish and town councils, the National Trust, the Friends of DalesBus, Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line and Friends of the Dales, in addition to numerous individual donations.
To help maintain and develop the DalesBus network D&BCIC are now seeking sponsorship and donations for Summer 2022 – if this may be of interest to your business or organisation please
get in touch with us.
Simon Webster, head of marketing at Steeton-based Acorn Stairlifts, said: “We were keen to give something back to the community which supported our growth and sponsoring the Wensleydale Flyer has been a great way to do it. It’s a good fit for us, as both Acorn and the Flyer are all about empowering mobility and having our company livery on the bus is a great way to raise our profile locally. I’d encourage any other business considering sponsorship of a DalesBus service to go ahead – it’s been a win-win situation for us.”
Thank you to everyone who helps support the DalesBus network.
Since D&BCIC was established in 2007 over 400,000 passenger journeys have been made on the services managed by the CIC. During the current 2021-22 year around 28,000 passenger journeys are expected to be made, with numbers still reduced as a result of the pandemic.
The CIC Directors are fortunate to be assisted by a network of volunteers across the Dales who assist with a wide range of day to day tasks to help manage the DalesBus network including the design and distribution of publicity materials, updating bus stop displays, helping with publicity events and stalls, fundraising, passenger surveys, and so on. The CIC is always looking for more volunteers, particularly volunteers with specialist skills like fundraising, graphic design and marketing. If you can spare some time to help, then please get in touch via the Contact Us page of the DalesBus website.