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Responsible business and communities

Community history at Euston, London
Community history at Euston, London

Railways connect places, and HS2 will make it easier and quicker for people to travel between our great cities of the North, Midlands and the South, stopping at over 25 stations, connecting 30 million people. We will create a step change for rail capacity and connectivity.

We are working with communities, businesses and local stakeholders to make sure the most is made from this once in a life time opportunity to rebalance the country, supporting inclusive growth for all.

We will connect with local communities and treat them with respect and consideration, understanding the unique characteristics of each place we work in.

The goal of our community and business funds is to support community cohesion, the local environment and local economies.

Inclusive growth

Transport infrastructure has the capacity to transform lives; to bring more opportunities within reach; to broaden our horizons and enrich our lives.

Connecting the major population centres with a modern and reliable railway service will boost productivity across the Midlands and the North. In turn this will open up new markets and supply chains for business, and more jobs and training opportunities for people without having to move home.

These better connections will bring Britain closer together, helping spread wealth around the country and bridge the gap between London and the rest of Britain.

We are working with communities, businesses and local stakeholders to make sure the most is made from this once in a life time opportunity. The HS2 project is helping to bring substantial regeneration through inward investment, job creation and new housing to the places where we are building the railway, including around our stations and depots.

Our approach is to minimise disruption during construction and to leave a positive legacy for communities.

Along the route regional development teams have been established by local authorities and we are working with them to support growth opportunities for their communities. The HS2 Growth Strategies are designed to spread the benefits of HS2 beyond station cities. Local Authorities are integrating HS2 into transport and economic plans to ensure growth does not just support business, investment and city centres. For example, Leeds HS2 Growth Strategy is designed to raise living standards and tackle deprivation across the region.

When combined, the growth plans are forecasting hundreds of thousands of jobs being created by the investments planned along the HS2 route, and tens of thousands of new homes being built.

West Midlands100,0006,000West Midlands CA HS2 Vision

Birmingham Curzon HS2: Masterplan

East Midlands74,0005,500East Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy
Crewe37,0007,100Crewe HS2 Hub Draft Masterplan Vision
Greater Manchester96,00016,800Greater Manchester HS2 Growth Strategy
West Yorkshire40,00012,000West Yorkshire CA HS2 Growth Strategy
Other Stations Served by HS2*25,00010,000Cumbria LEP Infrastructure Plan

Darlington 2025 – A Modern Rail Hub for a Modern Economy

The Lancashire Strategic Transport Prospectus

Warrington New City

London65,00025,500Euston Growth Strategy

Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation

*A sample of other stations served by HS2, this is not a definitive list. Numbers correct as of December 2019.

Across the country, thousands of companies are winning contracts and employing people to help deliver the first major inter-city railway line to be built north of London in 100 years.

Connecting with communities

We will treat local communities with respect and consideration, understanding the unique characteristics of each place we work in.

Our teams are working with local communities along the route through our volunteering programmes. We are focusing on supporting:
• Skills, education and employment
• Social mobility
• Protecting and enhancing the environment
• Helping communities to thrive

With the charity Groundwork, we are helping to positively transform the environment in a number of community locations in Birmingham and London along the route of the line.

We are also working with the Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) . Our employees support the SMF’s programmes that are helping young people from low-income backgrounds to reach their full potential both at university and in their careers.

In 2019, our employees clocked up over 2,5000 hours of volunteering supporting local communities, social mobility, education and employment, and the environment

Our Education Ambassadors work with young people to show them the wide range of jobs and skills that are needed to plan, build and operate HS2. They also promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (the STEM subjects). In the academic year 2018/19, HS2 carried out and supported:

  • 58 secondary school STEM workshops to 3,344 students
  • 18 primary school STEM workshops to 716 students
  • Supported more than 60 school careers events (Big Bang Fair, World Skills Live, Skills London),
  • 65 work experience opportunities, of which 41 were arranged through Social Mobility Foundation

We are carrying out the biggest archaeological dig this country has ever known. Through this work, which we are sharing widely with the public, people will be able to discover more about the history of the places where they live and work.

Community and business funds

We are committed to create new public spaces with the permanent provision of parks, play areas and public rights of way.

£45 million of funding is available for local communities

This funding can improve community facilities and town centres along the Phase One and Phase 2a route. The goal is to support community cohesion, local environments and local economies.

Two funds are available. Known as the Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and the Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF), over £5 million has already been awarded to successful applicants up and down the route. To find out more about who has been awarded funding please view this interactive map.

A £30 million road safety fund will provide funding for 13 areas along the Phase One route of the rail line between the West Midlands and London. The money can be used for calming measures, safer pedestrian crossings or safer junctions for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers. Just over £1 million from the fund had been allocated by the end of 2019.

In 2018 a further £6.5 million was made available by the Government towards road safety on the second phase between Crewe and the West Midlands.

Art and culture programme

HS2’s Arts and Culture programme is an important area of our work that will run throughout the life of the project. It will make a positive contribution to the overall impact of the architecture and landscape along the route. While the permanent art commissions will enrich the journeys of the millions of people who use HS2, numerous arts and culture projects are already engaging communities along the route.

Here are some examples of what we are doing.

As part of our Arts and Culture programme, we’re running a number of projects to engage communities along the route. In Digbeth, Birmingham, near to our Curzon Street station site, we are working with two art organisations – Grand Union and Beatfreeks Arts, to deliver workshops for young people exploring the past, present and future connections between communities and city infrastructure.

In Old Oak Common, London, we are working with Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation and arts charity Create London on a joint community engagement project at McVities Biscuit factory for 600 factory workers and seven local SMEs.

We are also working with the Canal and River Trust in a number of rural areas along the route where HS2 intersects with the canal network. We are establishing a series of creative workshops on the canals and in nearby community centres that will explore how creativity can support community well-being.