HS2 train

About High Speed Two (HS2)

High Speed Two (HS2) is a new high speed railway linking up London, the Midlands, the North and Scotland serving over 25 stations, including eight of Britain’s 10 largest cities and connecting around 30 million people.

The construction of the new railway is split into three phases: Phase One linking London and the West Midlands; Phase 2a linking the West Midlands and the North via Crewe; and Phase 2b extending the high speed network to Manchester and Leeds, and beyond.

The Secretary of State has published Environmental Minimum Requirements (EMR) which set out the environmental and sustainability commitments that will be observed in the design and construction of HS2.

Environment Minimum Requirements – Phase One
Environmental Minimum Requirements – Phase 2a

The Residents Charter outlines HS2’s commitments to communities disrupted by the construction of HS2. Find out more.


About the Community & Environment Fund and Business & Local Economy Fund

In October 2014 the government announced two funding programmes to help offset the disruption of Phase One on local communities and businesses – the Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and the Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF).

In January 2018, the then HS2 Minister announced an additional £5 million is to be added to the CEF and BLEF funding pot for those disrupted during construction of the Phase 2a scheme from Birmingham to Crewe. This brings the overall total of CEF and BLEF combined for Phase One and Phase 2a to £45m.

£40 million is for communities experiencing disruption from the construction of Phase One and £5 million is for communities experiencing disruption from the construction of Phase 2a. The Funds will be available during the construction period and for the first year of operational HS2 services. The Funds will support good quality bids that meet CEF and BLEF criteria, and funding will be available throughout this time period.

Both funds (CEF and BLEF) will award money from the same funding pot and so the amounts allocated for each Fund will depend on the number and quality of applications.

The Funds for Phase One were launched in February 2017 and for Phase 2a in February 2021.


Fund Administration

The administration of these funds is independently managed on behalf of HS2 Ltd by the charity Groundwork UK who will ensure both funds remain available for applications throughout the construction of Phase One and Phase 2a.  


More information:

Independent Panel

The HS2 Community and Business Funds Independent Panel makes the final decision on how funding is awarded to projects.

Programme Updates

The latest news about the HS2 Community Environment Fund and Business and Local Economy Fund.

Local HS2 information

Information about what’s happening with HS2 in different areas along the route.


Annual Reviews

As independent administrators of the HS2 Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF) for Phase One and Phase 2a, Groundwork UK produces the HS2 CEF and BLEF Annual Review in collaboration with the Funds’ Independent Chair.

HS2 Community and Business Funds Project Map

Our map provides the most up-to-date public information on HS2 Community & Environment and Business & Local Economy supported projects along the Phase One line of the route. 

Background documents

Information about how the HS2 Funds were developed and a powerpoint presentation about the scheme.