The HS2 Minister has confirmed that community projects will benefit as part of a £45 million investment from the government to provide a legacy of improvements along the new railway route.
Nusrat Ghani announced the first recipients of two funds that will provide a legacy of improvements for community projects situated on the first phase route from London to the West Midlands.
The recipients of the fund include a pre-school in Northamptonshire, an environmental awareness charity situated in London and a Warwickshire church.
These, and other community projects, will receive finance from the Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and Business and Local Community Fund (BLEF), which is worth £40 million for local communities that will be impacted by the London to Birmingham first phase of HS2.
When she announced the first recipients, Ms Ghani also confirmed there will be an extension of the scheme that will provide an extra £5 million for projects to those communities that are located near to or alongside the phase 2a West Midlands to Crewe route.
It is the government’s way of highlighting that they are funding more than just a railway with the HS2 investment; rather, they feel the money will drive regeneration and improve transport landscape along the railway.
The two funds will be spent on public projects, revitalising vital council buildings, as well as for any measures that can improve local economies and increase employment opportunities.
And Ms Ghani believes that these funds can also unlock business opportunities along the route – adding to HS2’s legacy.
“HS2 will be the backbone of our national rail network – supporting growth and regeneration and helping us build a Britain fit for the future. Whilst we know there will be disruption as we deliver one of Europe’s biggest infrastructure projects, we are absolutely committed to minimising the effects of building the new railway.
“That’s why I am delighted to see this significant funding helping to unlock the potential of communities and businesses along the route, ensuring the legacy of HS2 extends beyond the railway.”