Recently announced figures from independent charity Groundwork UK show that HS2 has awarded over £2.4m to 51 projects across the UK this year, with funding reaching the more organisations than ever before.
The grants were awarded through HS2’s Community & Environment Fund (CEF) and Business & Local Economy Fund (BLEF). To date, the HS2 project has provided additional funding to 197 community organisations including groups offering employability support, sports facilities for young people, and local wildlife regeneration projects.
In Warwickshire, 29 projects have received a total of £1.4 million pounds of funding since applications opened in 2017.
HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson MP said:
“HS2 is about more than just boosting connections across the UK, it’s about bringing communities together and giving towns and cities along the route the support they need to maximise the opportunities HS2 will bring whether it be through upskilling workers or protecting their local environment.
“These funds are an integral part of making this happen and it’s humbling to see the positive impact HS2 is having on communities along the route before trains have even begun running.”
Julie King, HS2 Community Engagement Director, said:
“As we emerge from the pandemic, HS2 is a critical investment to support the UK’s recovery, creating and supporting thousands of jobs and benefiting businesses all over the country. The CEF and BLEF schemes provide funding for hundreds of community projects which will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come."
Graham Duxbury, Chief Executive of Groundwork UK, said:
“Now more than ever it’s vital that we invest in building stronger communities, improving local facilities and supporting projects that help people thrive. It’s great to see the difference that the HS2 Community and Business Funds are having, and we look forward to seeing what other innovative and exciting projects will receive funding in the next 12 months.”
Cathy Elliott, Independent Chair of the CEF & BLEF funds, said:
“The last 12 months has seen HS2’s funding programme continue to develop and grow. We celebrated reaching CEF & BLEF’s £10m milestone of funding distributed for Phase One by September 2021 which is a fantastic achievement since launching in 2017.
“Through local and regional awarded projects, we have enabled new facilities to be built and used by residents, contributed to vital services being offered and taken up in communities, supported more environmental projects led by local people, helped to improve health & wellbeing, especially adapting to the pandemic, and developed local employment and skills.”
The HS2 Community & Environment Fund (CEF) and Business & Local Economy Fund (BLEF) have been in operation on Phase One of the route between the West Midlands and London since MPs approved their use in 2017. In 2021, the Funds opened for eligible projects along the Phase 2a line of route between the West Midlands and Crewe.
Earlier applicants to the funds are already benefiting from increased investment in their local community:
- Radford Semele Parish Council secured £30,000 from the HS2 Community and Environment Fund (CEF) to provide an outdoor gym for adults on the village playing field. The facility is aimed at encouraging more families to visit the playing field to improve their health and wellbeing and will be suitable for a wide range of users who want to exercise outdoors and keep fit.
- Warwick Arts Centre was successful in its bid for a £250,000 grant towards its Warwick 20:20 project. The project involves replacing the existing cinema with new state of the art facilities and relocating the Mead Gallery.
- Stockton Parish Council have received a £10,000 grant from HS2 Ltd’s Community and Environment Fund (CEF) to construct new changing facilities for Stockton Football & Cricket Club. The renovation will support the significant rise in interest shown by women's and girls' teams wanting to compete in local sports including football, cricket, netball and pétanque.
To read the full HS2 Community and Business Funds report and to find out more about how to apply for the programme, please visit: