Artists impression of an HS2 train

About High Speed Two (HS2)

High Speed Two (HS2) is a new high speed railway between London and the West Midlands which received Royal Assent in early 2017.  

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 – London to the West Midands

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 on local communities and businesses – the Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and the Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF).

A combined total of £40m has been made available for these two funds over the period of construction and the first year of operation for the London to the West Midlands route. 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 opened for applications on 8th March 2017.  

Phase 2a and Biodiversity Investment Fund

In line with the Government announcement on the 4October 2023, HS2 Funds for Phase 2a -which includes CEF, BLEF and the Biodiversity Investment Fund (BIF) – are closed for applications.

If you need any further information, please email or you can find out more about the Government announcement here.

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 HS2  

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 Funds, 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 line of the route.