HS2 funding grant sees Southam bloom

Southam in Bloom has received a £10,000 funding boost from HS2 to enhance a series of public green spaces around the town. Formed in 1983, Southam in Bloom has built a series of floral displays on roads leading into the Warwickshire town.

Alongside the new floral and bulb planters, the funding will also pay to establish new pollinator saplings on land earmarked by Southam Town Council, providing a positive legacy for town residents and local ecosystem for the next 50 years.

Southam in Bloom received the funding through HS2’s Community & Environment Fund (CEF) and Business & Local Economy Fund (BLEF), which are open to organisations impacted by the construction of HS2. In the West Midlands, the scheme has already distributed over £2.3 million pounds of additional funding since applications opened in 2017.

Cathy Elliott, independent chair of the HS2 Funds, said: “Southam in Bloom has served its community for the last four decades, working all-year-round to brighten the local area with floral and plant displays which are highly appreciated by residents. They are a great example of how the CEF programme awards vital funding to volunteer organisations impacted by the construction of HS2.”

The town of Southam is close to one of HS2’s largest construction sites in the West Midlands, Long Itchington Woods in Warwickshire. Last December, HS2 launched ‘Dorothy’ – a giant tunnelling machine which is currently boring a mile-long tunnel underneath the countryside to preserve the nearby ancient woodland. This will be the first HS2 tunnel to be completed on the project, with the machine set to break through its first bore at the south portal later this year.

Southam in Bloom relies on a team of volunteers to complete their summer and winter planting programmes.  They also receive annual financial support from Southam Town Council. Meetings take place on the second Tuesday of each month at Southam Sports & Social Club on School Street.

Tessa Sadler, chair of Southam in Bloom, said: “This grant will enable us to enhance the environment of Southam through an increase in the number of floral displays and blossom trees in the Town.”

HS2’s CEF & BLEF schemes are still open to applications, to check the eligibility of local projects in your area, please visit: https://hs2funds.org.uk/home/community-environment-fund/.

Image credit: HS2 Ltd

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