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HS2 Community Fund awards £75,000 to the Longdon Club and Institute in Staffordshire

Today (Tuesday 6th October) the Longdon Club & Institute in Rugeley has become the latest to benefit from the HS2 Community and Environment Fund, as it is announced that they have been awarded £75,000 for renovations at the Memorial Hall in Longdon.

HS2 Community Fund awards £75,000 to the Longdon Club and Institute in Staffordshire: Longdon Village Hall benefits from CEF funding October 2020

The Longdon Club & Institute renovation project will deliver significant improvements to Memorial Hall in Longdon village, including improved access for wheelchair users and people with disabilities, new electrical wiring and an efficient central heating system. New double-glazed windows and roof insulation will also be installed.

The project is a continuation of other upgrades, funded separately, such as the improvement of toilet facilities. It is all part of a programme of work to keep the building in good order so it can be used for many years to come. The Longdon Club & Institute is a Social Enterprise located in Longdon, Staffordshire. They are the residents of the Memorial Hall, built in 1919 as a memorial to those who fell in the First World War and to serve the local community.

Two funds, with a combined total of £40million, are available to local communities and businesses that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of Britain’s new high speed railway between London and the West Midlands. This funding has come from the Community and Environment Fund, which is for projects that benefit the community and have a positive environmental outcome.

To date, over £7.6million has been awarded from the funds across 126 projects near the HS2 route. In Staffordshire, seven projects have benefitted, sharing £337,699 between them. The projects range from upgrades to community facilities such as village halls and tennis courts, to a contribution to the development of a new café at the Wolesley Centre, part of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust’s local estate.

Speaking about the new award, Cathy Elliott, Independent Chair of the HS2 Funds said:

“I am pleased to see the village of Longdon benefit from the Funds, extending the access and improving the provision of a vital local community space so it can be maintained for current and future local residents.

“The Funds are available to support local communities and businesses that are impacted by the construction of HS2 and I encourage other organisations near to the line of route to apply and gain the tangible benefits of these Funds.”

Alan Rowe of the Longdon Club and Institute said:

 “2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, the contribution from HS2 to renovate the Memorial Hall has lifted peoples spirits. Everyone is looking forward to seeing the finished article and we are being constantly asked when we will be open. We are very grateful for the generous financial help from the HS2 fund. We are honoured to be able to carry on the original wishes of Sir Villiers & Lady Forster, who had the Hall built for the benefit of local people, in memory of those fallen or served in the first world war.”

As construction of HS2 gets underway, applications for the funds are still being welcomed. The Funds for Phase One, independently administered by community charity Groundwork UK, support urban and rural, community, environmental and business projects. Community and business groups in Staffordshire will also be eligible to apply for a share of the £5million funding announced for Phase 2a of the HS2 route, between the West Midlands and Crewe, when the funding is available.

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