HS2 Community and Business Funds hits 200 projects milestone

Over £12m in CEF & BLEF funding has now been awarded to 200 local community projects and businesses that are impacted by the construction of Britain’s new high-speed railway via the Community & Environment Fund (CEF) and Business & Local Economy Fund (BLEF).

To date, 205 organisations have received an average grant of £58,000 to fund projects that leave a lasting positive legacy for the local community, including providing funding for new skills training programmes, community facility refurbishments, and establishing new natural environments.

One group that has benefitted from the Funds is the PACCAR scouts camp in Buckinghamshire, where funds have been used  to build a new state-of-the-art climbing facility which will serve 60,000 young people from across Buckinghamshire and West London each year. The eight-metre tall climbing tower was designed and hand-carved by Bendcrete, a family-run company from Manchester. Bendcrete are also creating an underground adventure caving facility for young people to discover the joys of potholing and caving.

“We are grateful to the HS2 CEF fund for supporting our new Climbing Wall and Caving complex project which will allow us to continue to provide adventure and skills for life to 60,000 young people each year. These new facilities are designed for use by young people of all ages and abilities allowing us to reach every corner of the communities we serve.”

John Arnold, Chairman of the PACCAR scouts camp

“I am delighted that we have reached the milestone of our 200th awarded project since launching in 2017. We have aimed over the last five years to give back to communities and invest in the widest variety of small to large scale projects which support local communities now and in the future. “It is always a pleasure to see worthwhile local causes receive awards from HS2’s CEF and BLEF programmes, especially the variety of community facilities we have supported, including the positive work of PACCAR scouts group.”

Cathy Elliott, Independent Chair of the HS2 Funds

“At its core, HS2 is about bringing communities together across the UK together and projects such as CEF and BLEF are absolutely vital to achieving this. “Hitting 200 projects is an extraordinary milestone and testament to the work being done to ensure communities living alongside HS2’s line-of-route have access to worthwhile investments for local projects that will leave a lasting positive legacy.”

HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson said

“The new climbing facilities on the PACCAR scouts campsite are an excellent example of how communities impacted by HS2 construction can also receive important investment as a result of HS2.

“The over 200 projects already in receipt of funding are just the beginning of our efforts to ensure HS2 leaves a positive legacy for line-of-route communities.”

Julie King, HS2 Ltd’s Community Engagement Director

You can find the most up-to-date public information on HS2 Community & Environment (CEF) and Business & Local Economy (BLEF) supported projects along the Phase One and Phase 2a lines of the route via the HS2 Funds map.