COVID-19 Update: We are currently still accepting new applications to the CEF and BLEF Funds in the usual way.  If you have already had your funding approved then please click here to read our FAQs to learn the steps we will take to provide you with as much flexible support as possible during the current crisis.

Children gardening in community garden

The Community and Environment Fund (CEF) has been created to add benefit to communities along the route that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of Phase One of HS2 from London to West Midlands and Phase 2a from the West Midlands to Crewe.

There are two types of CEF funding:

CEF Local will focus on quality of life and environment in individual communities.

CEF Strategic will focus on large projects across several communities and address strategic rather than purely local concerns. Wherever possible, the CEF fund aims to leave a sustainable legacy.

Note: We want to assure potential applicants that we undertake rigorous management and regular reviews of the funding available to ensure that funds are available throughout the construction periods for each Phase, and there will be no advantages of submitting applications early or disadvantages of submitting applications later during the construction period.

Who can apply for funding?

Primarily this funding programme is targeted at the voluntary/community sector, including resident’s associations, constituted community groups, Community Interest Companies (CICs), social enterprises, community businesses and registered charities.

Other organisations may be eligible to apply for funding too e.g. if they have been formally established for public benefit and are not for profit. More information on the eligibility of organisations is included in the guidance document.

We will not directly fund individuals, limited liability partnerships, private sector company/business or any organisation that cannot demonstrate appropriate governance.

Examples of CEF projects

The below examples are purely illustrative and we welcome applications for any projects that will enhance the quality of life and the environment of communities disrupted by the construction of HS2.

  • Improved pedestrian, equestrian, or cycle access not provided under statutory services;
  • Landscape and nature conservation enhancement projects which increase biodiversity (including pop up interventions such as skip gardens);
  • Enhancement or replacement of sports and recreational facilities;
  • Improved access and enhancements to public open space;
  • Provision of enhanced or new community facilities; and
  • Refurbishment/re-use of historic buildings and monuments.


How to apply

Step 1

Read the guidance notes and FAQs

Before applying, we recommend that all applicants read the CEF Guidance Notes, FAQs, view sample application forms and read the application Help Notes for more detail about the Fund and project eligibility.

Step 2

Understand the application process

The application process is different according to the amount of funding you are seeking for your project. Our flowcharts explain it all and how long you will need to wait.

Step 3

Take the eligibility quiz

This short quiz will check that your project meets the basic requirements to be eligible for funding. If your project meets the criteria you will be then given a link to the application form.


Alternative and Accessible Formats

If you experience or anticipate any barriers with our application process, require help to make an application, or accessing our services and information, please contact us to discuss the type of support we can provide.