HS2 Ltd has awarded £13,445,843 to 236 community projects on Phase One and Phase 2a over the last six years.
The latest figures revealed in Groundwork UK’s 2023 annual report says that £2,023,171 has been awarded to 39 projects between London and Crewe in the last 12 months.
Seven projects across the Greater London area have shared £367,922 in funding in the last year. Twelve projects in Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire & Oxfordshire have shared £540,485, seven projects across the West Midlands area have shared £444,131, and six projects in Warwickshire have shared £322,211 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. The funds are independently administered by community charity Groundwork UK.
Earlier this month, Samuel Lithgow Youth Centre in Camden was the latest project to receive funding, with the £45k grant support the Women’s Fitness Project (WFP) which delivers four fitness sessions across the week including Zumba Classes, Body Conditioning, Dance classes and Yoga classes. The grant means that the WFP can continue to operate for the next three years.
In previous years, HS2’s CEF & BLEF scheme has been used to deliver a seasonal arts programme through HF Artsfest in Hammersmith & Fulham, funded a healing garden at Harefield Hospital, and constructed improved community club facilities at Harefield Cricket Club.
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.
Photo credit: HS2 Ltd