Transport Minister Robert Goodwill has announced that businesses and communities near the new HS2 high speed railway line will benefit from grants worth £30 million.
The Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and the Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF) will make up to £30 million available for local communities and residents between London and Birmingham to invest in public projects. The funding will go towards projects such as refurbishment of local community centres, measures to support local economies and employment and nature conservation.
Robert Goodwill said: “HS2 is crucial to the long-term prosperity of this country. It will free up space on our railways, cut journey times between our biggest cities and drive forward our economy for years to come.
“However, it’s only right we do all we can to help those living and working close to this vital railway. These new funds, totalling £30 million, are in addition to the comprehensive package of support we have already announced and will further help communities and businesses make the most of this once in a generation scheme and crucial part of the government’s long-term economic plan.”
Business benefits with new HS2 grants
Business support organisations, community groups, non-government organisations and charities will be able to bid for grants from the £30 million fund. The funds are expected to be rolled out when construction starts in 2017, following Royal Assent of the High Speed Rail (London to West Midlands) Bill. Grants will be awarded until the end of 2026, HS2’s first year of operation.
The funds are in addition to plans already in place to minimise the impacts of HS2’s construction and operation. These include the comprehensive package of compensation and assistance for property owners, which the government set out this year, and the range of measures that the Government will put in place to enable businesses and local people to gain employment and contracts arising from construction and operation of HS2.
The CEF will support local projects that bring environmental and community benefits to areas affected by HS2. Part of the funding will fund small scale community projects and the remainder will fund larger schemes that have third party or match funding.
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