A picture of architects plans

HS2 community and business grants scheme celebrates awarding £4million funding

Today, two new Community and Environment Fund awards have been announced which take the total funding awarded from the Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF) to over £4million.

Tamworth Scouts Building for the Future project has been awarded £55,700 which will go towards a new building at the District Activity Centre site, used by 13 local Scout groups. And £75,000 has been awarded to the Water Orton Cricket Club enabling them to carry out essential works to the ground and facilities, replacing existing practice nets will with safety compliant ones, extending fencing around the ground and re-laying the club car park to improve drainage.

Two funds – CEF & BLEF – with a combined total of £40million, are available to local communities and businesses that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of HS2 between London and the West Midlands. The funds opened in March 2017 and so far have 76 projects have been awarded funding with the awarded funding reaching £4,001,933.

Peter Coles, Chairman of Water Orton Cricket Club, said:
“The news that HS2 through Groundwork UK are helping us in this way is the best news I have had in all my time associated with the club. So many local community sports clubs not only struggle to survive these days but fall by the wayside for the want of improved facilities for their players and visitors.

“The three capital projects identified; the practice nets, ball-stop fencing and car park have been part of our development plans for several years. Realistically with the resources at our disposal and the calls we have on those resources to keep the club going there is absolutely no way we could finance those works without going into serious and probably unsustainable debt. Now, with the help of HS2 funding, we can make those very much needed improvements happen and we are truly bowled over!.”

Cathy Elliott, Independent Chair of CEF and BLEF, said:
“I am delighted that CEF & BLEF has reached the £4 million mark by supporting projects in communities all along the Phase One line of route. Visiting some of these successful applicants and seeing first-hand the positive outcomes from these projects has been so rewarding. I would like to encourage other organisations, near to the line of route, to get in touch with Groundwork UK to find out how they can share in the tangible benefits that are being realised from this funding programme. I look forward to seeing which projects will gain valuable investment for their communities and local economies in the future.”

Peter Miller, HS2 Environment Director, said:
“When we developed the HS2 CEF & BLEF schemes, we wanted to ensure they would provide tangible benefits to communities and the business sector, over and above mitigation and compensation for the construction effects of HS2. This is already happening with 76 awards already made to projects near the HS2 line.”