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Community and business funding

Two funds are available to local communities and businesses. They support environmental and economic improvements.

The funds

Two funds are available to local communities and businesses to help with the disruption that will be caused by the construction of Phase one of HS2 between London and the West Midlands; the Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and the Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF)

CEF and BLEF are not currently available for Phase 2 of HS2.

The administration of these funds is managed on behalf of HS2 Ltd by the charity Groundwork who will ensure both funds remain available for applications throughout the construction of Phase One. Read the Groundwork annual review.

View this map to find out which projects have been supported in the first round of funding from the HS2 CEF and BLEF funds.

Opportunities for local businesses

HS2 are committed to opening up their supply chain to support and develop local and SME suppliers to deliver long-term social economic and environmental benefits.

CEF: sustaining community and environment

This fund has two elements. CEF Local focuses on quality of life and environment in individual communities. CEF Strategic will focus on large strategic projects across several communities.

Visit Groundwork’s dedicated HS2 CEF website to learn more and use their eligibility checker.

Find out more about HS2’s environmental policy.

BLEF: positive impact on local economies

BLEF can support schemes to improve the local public realm, increase footfall and boost tourism.

The below examples are illustrative and we look to local business support organisations, including Local Authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships and Trade Associations to identify appropriate projects which will help maintain business activity in local communities disrupted by the construction of HS2.

  • Schemes to improve the local public realm, especially in retail and tourist areas;
  • Improved local cycling and pedestrian access to local economic centres;
  • General promotional activity for local economic benefit;
  • Creating and running events that increase footfall or promote business activity during seasonal periods (for example, farmers markets);
  • Employment and job creation schemes;
  • Town/village discount cards to retain spend in local areas and;
  • Projects that aim to increase tourist visits to an area.

The HS2 contracts opportunities page is regularly updated.

 

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