Cathy Elliot has been appointed independent chairman of the panel overseeing the delivery of HS2 Community and Business Funds.
She will oversee the £30 million programme that offers additional support to communities and local economies demonstrating disruption caused by the construction of the railway.
Two funds are available. The first is the Community and Environment Fund (CEF), which will provide benefits to local communities in addition to mitigation already set out in the Bill currently going through Parliament.
The second is the Business and Local Economy Fund that supports and promotes local economies “demonstrably disrupted by the construction of HS2”.
Both will be available after the Parliamentary Bill is granted Royal Assent, currently scheduled for the end of 2016.
Elliot is expected to work up to 15 days over the first year while the funds are being further developed. She is currently chief executive of Community Foundations for Lancashire & Merseyside.