HS2 funding to deliver woodland hub
A community development near Aylesbury will be developed thanks to government funding, HS2 Minister Nusrat Ghani has announced.
The development at Wendover Woods will see the creation of a recreational facility, including an adventure trail, café and parking for 600 visitors, thanks to a £450,000 government grant.
Minister Ghani visited the site to see plans for the £4.45M redevelopment, one of the largest areas of publically accessible open spaces in the region. The £450,000 grant is the largest funding award given to any single project so far from a £40M HS2 Phase One Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF).
Nusrat Ghani, HS2 Minister, said: “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.
“It is great to see so many exciting local projects such as the Wendover Woods recreational development project benefit from this fund, helping even more people access and enjoy our beautiful countryside. Funding such as CEF and BLEF will help to ensure that the legacy of HS2 is shared by everyone for generations to come.”
The grant comes as part of a £45M fund, established to support a wide range of projects along the HS2 route, ranging from community centres to nature conservation, while measures to drive jobs and local economies will also be supported.
The first round of grants offered some £245,000 of monies to fund the renovation of Steeple Claydon Methodist Church in Buckinghamshire, helping a pre-school in Northamptonshire build its first playground, and schemes in Camden to engage residents in environmental and health issues.
Joanne Mason from the Forestry Commission said: “Wendover Woods is a hugely popular recreation resource for families living across the Chilterns and further afield. This grant from the HS2 CEF fund will enable much needed new toilets, seating and expanded café facilities to be established ensuring that the forest can continue to be enjoyed by future generations.”
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