HS2 fund awards £13.4m to community projects since 2017

30 May 2023

HS2 Ltd has awarded £13,445,843 to 236 community projects on Phase One and Phase 2a over the last six years.

Projects in the West Midlands area have received £2.83m in total.

The latest figures are revealed in Groundwork UK’s 2023 annual report. which also confirms that £2,023,171 has been awarded to 39 projects between London and Crewe in the last 12 months.

Seven projects across the West Midlands area have shared £444,131 in funding in the last year.

Starting in 2017, HS2 created the Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and the Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF) to aid community groups and business partnerships impacted by the construction of Phase One (London to Birmingham) and Phase 2a (Birmingham to Crewe) of the HS2 project. Community charity Groundwork UK independently administer the funds.

In June 2022, Wizzleworld Dramatics CIC in Solihull received a £74,724 from HS2 Ltd to create a series of bespoke new programmes aimed at encouraging outdoor exploration in children and improving wellbeing for West Midlands residents.

The funding will contribute towards the enhancement of green spaces at Smith’s Wood, making the outdoor learning space more accessible to the wider community.

In previous years, HS2’s CEF & BLEF scheme has provided £75,000 towards the refurbishment of Streethay Play Park, built a brand new clubhouse and training facility at Chorleywood Cricket Club, and funded an upskilling programme for students attending John Henry Newman Catholic School in Chelmsley Wood.

Cathy Elliott, Independent Chair of the HS2 Funds said: “It’s fantastic to be able to report that HS2’s funding programme for line of route communities has awarded £13.4 million since 2017, with over £2 million distributed in the last year to locally-led projects between London and Crewe.

“I have been lucky enough to visit several projects and see the impact of the funding first-hand, such as the opening of brand new playgrounds and thriving environmental regeneration initiatives. It’s clear to see the significant difference the funding makes and how important it is to local communities.”

The CEF & BLEF schemes will provide up to £45m of funding throughout the construction timeline of HS2, supporting community led projects that improve the environment, such as tree planting and energy efficiency measures. The Funds also support initiatives that bring benefits to local communities, such as the provision of new community facilities or support for local heritage and culture.

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