A new Employment and Skills Hub will be set up in West London after the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) has secured £255,200 from the HS2 Business and Local Economy Fund.
The hub, which will be delivered in partnership with London Borough of Brent, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London Borough of Ealing, West London College and the Department for Work and Pensions, will help support West London businesses in difficult economic times and beyond, to provide stability and growth and to help businesses recruit, retain and develop a local, skilled workforce.
It will also help local people gain new skills and access employment opportunities created by local businesses, as well as OPDC’s and HS2’s infrastructure and development projects.
The HS2 Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF) has a total of £40 million available to local communities and businesses that are demonstrably disrupted by the construction of HS2. This award joins 125 other projects between London and the West Midlands that have also benefitted.
HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson commented: “As construction of HS2 progresses, it’s crucial that impacted residents and businesses continue to be supported and benefit from the jobs and skills this project creates.
“With over £7 million already invested in helping communities along the HS2 route, it’s great to see this latest funding go to creating a new Employment and Skills Hub in West London, providing an economic stimulus as the country fights back from Covid-19.”
Cathy Elliott, independent chairman of the HS2 Funds, said: “These funds are critical to support business and communities close to the construction of HS2 that are impacted by the works, and I am pleased that this OPDC-led project is supporting the local economy. This award will positively support businesses and communities, providing a lasting legacy.
“I encourage other businesses and organisations near to the line of route to apply and gain the tangible benefits of these funds.”
As construction of HS2 gets underway, applications for the funds are still being welcomed. The Funds for Phase One, independently administered by community charity Groundwork UK, support urban and rural, community, environmental and business projects.