Highways England is inviting people living along the A14 in Cambridgeshire to apply for grants of up to £10,000 to help ‘lock in the benefits’ of a major upgrade of the road.
The £400,000 A14 Community Fund will award grants for community projects across a wide range of areas including the environment, health and well-being, heritage, arts, skills, and culture.
Artist impression of a section of the scheme over the River Great Ouse
The Government-owned company said the fund ‘aims to bring real, positive change and to bring local communities in Cambridgeshire closer together’. Proposals are invited for the first round of grants, worth up to £10,000 per project.
Gerard Smith, legacy lead on the A14 project at Highways England said: ‘The construction of the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme will have a lasting impact on communities that live around it, opening up opportunities for positive initiatives to the benefit of everyone in the area.
‘This fund will help to kick-start those opportunities and ensure that the new A14’s legacy will go way beyond that of a normal road improvement project.’
He added: ‘We want to work with local communities to make the most of these opportunities and ensure we leave behind a positive legacy once the project is completed.’
The A14 Community Fund is administered by local charity the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation.
Bids are invited from across communities and from not for profit organisations that are delivering charitable projects with public benefit.
Highways England said applications ‘should take into account the transformation that the new road network will bring to their area, and seek to reflect and take advantage of the changes’.
As examples, projects could:
- focus on the new leisure opportunities opened up by the scheme
- chronicle changes to the local area over time
- complement the environmental measures being put in place
- revisit how public spaces are used.
The 21-mile A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme will include a major new bypass of Huntingdon, widening the A1 between Brampton and Alconbury, widening the existing A14 between Swavesey and Milton and junction improvements.
Highways England said the scheme is ‘progressing well and on schedule’ to start construction in late 2016.
The new bypass and widened A14 are due to open to traffic in 2020.