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HS2 Minister Nusrat Ghani MP visits Camden community projects as part of a £1.3m funding celebration

Posted on 22 June 2018

HS2 Minister Nusrat Ghani joined HS2 Ltd officials to visit Castlehaven Community Association and Training Link to see projects that have benefitted from the HS2 Community and Business Funds.

Both projects have received close to £75,000 each.

£1.3million in funding has been awarded to local communities since the Funds launched in February 2017.

HS2 Minister Nusrat Ghani visited two community projects on Thursday (21 June) that have benefitted from HS2 Community and Business Funds, to see first-hand the difference that the Funds are making to local people living and working along the route of HS2.

The visit coincided with the announcement that £1.3 million has been awarded to local community projects since the Funds opened in February 2017.

A combined total of £45 million of government funding has been made available to local communities and businesses disrupted by the construction of Phase One and Phase 2a of HS2 through two schemes – the Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF). The Funds for Phase One, administered by community charity Groundwork UK, support urban and rural, community, environmental and business projects.

Castlehaven Community Association have been awarded £73,591 to support ‘Greengage’, a local community initiative to get more residents engaged in environmental issues. The project has offered volunteers of all ages and local businesses the opportunity to make a difference by creating a 'Greenhaven' in the local area, through community events and clean ups, the development of a local nature park, promoting wildlife habitats and address specific environmental issues that emerge throughout the construction of HS2.

Training Link have received a grant of £74,235 for their 'Developing Skills for Employment' project, that will launch in August 2018. The project will provide local residents with the opportunity to gain new qualifications and experience through vocational and skills training to help them progress into employment.  

21 projects along the Phase One line of route have received a cash boost so far and the Funds are still open for applications.  A full list of projects that have been funded can be found on the HS2 Interactive Map.

Nusrat Ghani, HS2 Minister, said:

HS2 will become the backbone of our national rail network, improving connections between our major cities, boosting productivity, delivering better journeys for passengers and driving forward economic growth across the country. Whilst we know that there will be disruption as we deliver one of Europe’s biggest infrastructure projects, we are absolutely committed to minimising the effects and sharing the benefits. 

I am delighted that government funding is now empowering a diverse range of exciting projects, helping to unlock the potential of local businesses, regenerate community spaces and bring people closer together right along the route of HS2.

I look forward to seeing even more grants being awarded in the future, and encourage more fantastic schemes to come forward for their share of this significant funding.

Cathy Elliott, Independent Chair of CEF and BLEF, said: 

I am delighted that CEF & BLEF have reached the £1.3 million mark by supporting projects in communities all along the Phase One line of route. This is a good opportunity to demonstrate the tangible benefits of the Funds and to encourage other organisations near to the line of route to make quality applications for funding.

I hope more projects will in the future gain valuable investment for their communities from this 10-year programme.

Graham Duxbury, national Chief Executive of Groundwork, said:

It’s exciting to see that the funding on offer to communities is helping to fund innovative projects that will benefit local people for years to come.

The Funds provide local communities the opportunity to not only create something great in their local area, but give them the opportunity to come together and work on a project that best helps the needs of local people. We look forward to seeing more projects come to fruition and to see first-hand how the funding is greatly benefiting local communities.


Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact Stacey Aplin, PR and Communications Officer at Groundwork on 0121-237-5815 or email:


  • CEF and BLEF offer four types of grants: CEF Local grants for under £75,000, CEF Strategic grants for £75,000 - £1million, BLEF kick-starter grants of up to £75,000 and BLEF strategic grants of £75,000 - £1million.


  • A combined total of £45 million has been made available by the Department for Transport for these two funds. £40m is linked to the Phase One construction period and the first year of operation of HS2 services (11 years in total). 


  • An announcement in January 2018 confirmed that the extra £5 million would be made available for Phase 2a (West Midlands to Crewe). This brings the overall total of CEF and BLEF for Phases One and 2a to £45 million. There is no fixed allocation between CEF and BLEF. The additional £5 million for Phase 2a will be made available following Royal Assent (confirmation) of the Phase 2a Bill.


  • HS2 will be the backbone of our national rail network – supporting growth and regeneration and helping us build a Britain fit for the future. HS2 Minister Nusrat Ghani launched the first round of funding allocations to projects across the country in January 2018.