Stations of any size could benefit from the new funding pot launched by Network Rail and the Association of Train Operating Companies.
To be eligible, proposals must make improvements to the station environment and also reduce the overall public subsidy for rail by generating a financial return.
There is no cap on the maximum value of proposals and bids are being encouraged from third-party companies as well as train operators and Network Rail itself.
Mike Goggin, director of stations and customer service at Network Rail, said: “This is a great opportunity for the rail industry to think innovatively about how to improve stations without increasing the burden on the taxpayer.
“It is also an opportunity for local authorities and third parties to get involved and we encourage prospective projects to build relationships to improve the strength of their bid.”
Alec McTavish, director of policy and operations at ATOC, said: “Train companies, working with Network Rail, are committed to improving stations around the country, so additional funding is very welcome. We are looking forward to assessing high quality bids which will bring real benefits to passengers and demonstrate how they can provide a healthy financial return.”
Proposals will be assessed by a panel including the Department for Transport, ATOC and Network Rail.
To be considered for the first tranche of funding, proposals are requested by 17 June 2011. A second tranche will be released in October 2011 for which proposals are requested by 30 September 2011.