National Highways calls on communities in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to apply to £1.7m legacy fund

National Highways is calling on communities in Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire to apply for one of its £1.7 million legacy funds.

“Help make a difference in your community” – that’s the message from National Highways today as it called on communities to apply to their £1.7 million legacy fund dedicated to maximising the wider benefits of the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements.  

National Highway’s flagship £1 billion A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements started construction late last year and continues to make solid progress in transforming a critical part of the region’s road transport network.  

Recognising the importance of leaving a positive legacy that transcends asphalt, steel and concrete, National Highways committed a significant sum of money to support community projects in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 

The scheme held the first application window over the winter, which attracted close to 50 applications.  

National Highways is once again accepting applications and is calling on non-for-profit groups or organisations in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to apply to the legacy fund, including but not limited to local schools, charities, community groups, and environment groups.  

“The A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet improvements is dedicated to creating more than just new roads or junctions, we want to leave a positive legacy in the area we are working in,” said Paul Salmon – National Highways Senior Project Manager. “The legacy fund represents an opportunity for individuals or organisations in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to bring their projects to life.” 

The £1.7m social value fund is open to a wide range of proposals with grants available between £15,000 to £200,000. To be successful, applicants must be able to show that their project or initiative falls near the proposed route, and will meet one of the following criteria:  

  • Economic prosperity – investing in new skills, jobs, supply chains and delivering improvements in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire  
  • Improving the environment – making sustainable decisions that conserve natural resources and enhance ecosystems  
  • Community wellbeing – addressing health-related issues and improving connectivity, amenities, education, and heritage programmes for communities  
  • Equality, diversity, and inclusion – supporting the creating of a more equal society by increasing opportunities for under-represented group 

This is the second of five funding windows and is open for expressions of interest until Monday 15 July 2024. 

To find out more about the application process and criteria, and to submit an expression of interest, visit:  

For smaller scale projects, the schemes community fund – which is managed by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation – is also accepting applications. Worth £250,000 and with grants of up to £15,000 available, the community fund aims to support initiative that help build skills and support employment, or supports and connects communities, or enhances the local environment organisations. 

To find our more, visit:  

National Highways plans will see the creation of a new 10-mile dual carriageway linking the A1 Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire to the A428 Caxton Gibbet roundabout in Cambridgeshire. Both existing roundabouts will be upgraded into modern, free flowing junctions with a new junction added at Cambridge Road, improving access to St Neots and its train station.       

The improvements will help drivers save up to an hour-and-a-half on their journeys every week. The scheme is expected to open to traffic in spring 2027.    


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