HS2 – Community and Environment Fund and the Business and 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). £40 million was made available for the construction of Phase One of HS2. This is the line of route running from Euston Station in London, through to Curzon Street Station in Birmingham and up to Fradley in the West Midlands. This interactive map shows the route. The Environmental Statements provide further information about the areas experiencing disruption from Phase One construction.
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. There are two types of CEF funding:
- CEF Local will focus on quality of life and environment in individual communities (maximum of £75,000)
- CEF Strategic will focus on large projects across several communities and address broader rather than purely local concerns. Wherever possible, the CEF fund aims to leave a sustainable legacy (£75,000 – £250,000)
The Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF) has been created to support local economies that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of Phase One of HS2. (£10,000 up to a maximum of £250,000)
- £10,000 – £75,000 typically for smaller scale, kick starters
- £75,001 – £250,000 typically for longer term or larger scale enterprise
More information on the types of funding available with examples and how to apply is available via the links above.
As of 25 August 2023, £555,874 has been awarded to 10 local projects located within WDC. This comprises:
- BLEF – £74,500 to Kenilworth Town Council to show that Kenilworth is open for business and provide a higher profile for the Town during the construction works
- CEF – £481,374 to nine projects including most recently £74,007 to Coleshill Cricket Club to improve the pavilion facilities and £6,000 to Weston Under Wetherley Village Hall to install a replacement gas boiler and improved roof/loft insulation, so the hall can continue to offer a service to the local community.
HS2 Woodland Fund
The Phase One Woodland Fund is administered as a grant scheme by the Forestry Commission on HS2 Ltd’s behalf. The Phase One Woodland Fund opened on a ‘first come, first served’ basis in February 2018, with an initial budget of £1 million. A further £4 million budget is now available to be allocated to projects until 2022/23 (funding window is currently being expanded 2024/5).
Funding is available to support native woodland creation or the restoration of Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS). Land should be within the 25-mile zone surrounding the Phase One route. Outstanding applications outside of this zone will be considered at the discretion of the FC and the HS2 Woodland Fund review panel. Further eligibility details and an application form are available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hs2-woodland-fund