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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 community and business funds are administered and managed by independent community charity, Groundwork UK. For more information on Groundwork and the funds, including how to apply, visit the dedicated website.

You can also watch our short videos which explain how to best demonstrate that your project meets the criteria for the Community, Environment or Business Funds.

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

The funds in Buckinghamshire

To celebrate £1.19m of successful funding awards being made to community (and business) projects across Buckinghamshire, Julie King, HS2’s Community Engagement Director, alongside Paul Brown, HS2’s Area Project Director, visited Amersham Mobile Museum to see how their recent award of £16,080 would be spent. They were joined Cathy Elliott, Independent Chair of CEF and BLEF.

HS2’s Community and Environment Fund has been running since March 2017 and has seen 51 projects from across the county receive funding awards. This government-backed community funding programme was created to add benefit to communities affected by Phase One of HS2 and are supporting a diverse range of projects.  Buckinghamshire has had successful funding awards made to enable the refurbishing of community centres, creation of nature & conservation areas, improvements at sporting facilities, and improved health and wellbeing services.

Watch this video about Amersham Museum, one of the Buckinghamshire projects receiving funding.

HS2 community fund is helping Amersham Museum develop.

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.