Finemere Woods Environmental Site - HS2

HS2 boosts community projects through multi-million pound investment

HS2’s community and business funds programme has invested more than £16m into 285 separate projects bordering the HS2 route.

The last 12 months saw £2.6m allocated via the fund, taking the overall total above £16m since initial launch seven years ago.

The investment has gone into community buildings, sporting and leisure facilities, activities for young people, wildlife, and community gardens.

A further £55m-worth of matched funding – including volunteer time and cash resources – has further catalysed local growth.

These figures were revealed by Groundwork UK, which, on behalf of HS2, acts as the independent administrator of the funds.

In the last year, funding has been concentrated into “priority” geographical areas to ensure every community along the HS2 route gets a fair share of funding.

Investment will further pivot this year, according to the report, with funds to be funnelled into schemes that boost local economies, deliver environmental and biodiversity benefits, as well as the priority areas.

“We’re delighted to report that support for communities along HS2’s route has now exceeded £16m, with some outstanding examples of the tangible benefits enjoyed by locally-led projects,” said Cathy Elliott, independent chair of the HS2 funds.

She added: “In the last year we have invested in vital schemes to improve local people’s health and wellbeing, support children and young people, enhance the environment, and improve buildings and facilities – bringing communities together across rural and urban areas.”

Groundwork UK’s CEO, Graham Duxbury, explained: “During a turbulent year for the HS2 project, it’s fantastic that communities have been provided with continuous and stable support through the funds, which are ensuring a rich variety of community assets and activities are being created for those effected by the works.”

Image credit: iStock


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