Communities in Warwickshire have received funding totalling almost £750,000 from HS2 for projects to enhance their local area.
Since the funds opened two years ago - and with the support of Warwickshire County Council - areas in the county affected by the construction of the London to Birmingham high speed railway have successfully applied for money from the HS2 Community and Environment Fund and the HS2 Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF) worth £740,586.
Among the beneficiaries in the past year from the HS2 Community and Environment Fund, Long Itchington Parish Council has been granted £74,500 for improvements to the facilities for families at Long Itchington Park, Friends of Bodymoor Heath Victory Hall received £75,000 for modernising the venue, and Harbury e-Wheels £10,000 to provide transport for people in need.
Kenilworth Town Council also achieved £74,500 from the HS2 Business and Local Economy Fund to provide a town centre initiative to promote Kenilworth as being ‘open for business’.
Cllr Jeff Clarke, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for transport and planning, said: “The county council is delighted to see our communities pulling together and successfully bidding for HS2 funding.
“Whether people agree with the HS2 scheme or not, it is important that Warwickshire is allocated a fair share of this funding pot and our residents and businesses use this opportunity to achieve the priorities that they value and secure a better future for themselves.
“I want to encourage more local groups to bid for a share of HS2 funding to gain some benefit for the places affected by the construction and operation of the railway. Over the next few years there will be inevitable disruption while the line is being built, and it is important to strengthen the cohesion and resilience of the communities in its path.”
The funds are managed by Groundwork on behalf of HS2 Ltd and have been created to add benefit to communities along the route that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of phase one of the railway.
The government is allocating an initial £15 million to the central area - which includes Warwickshire.
More information on HS2 in Warwickshire can be found on the county council’s website at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/hs2
The objective of the CEF is to add benefit over and above committed mitigation and statutory compensation to communities and local economies along the HS2 route.
A quarter of the HS2 phase one track – 54 kilometres - will be built in Warwickshire between now and 2026, when the first services are scheduled to run.