Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughin was in Birmingham today (21 July 2014) to welcome news about HS2 developments that will bring jobs and growth to the city.
Patrick McLoughin and HS2 Ltd chairman David Higgins met with Birmingham Council Leader Sir Albert Bore for the launch of the city’s Urban Regeneration Company tasked with helping maximise the benefits of HS2 for the area.
They also announced Birmingham as the location of the HS2 construction headquarters (HQ), creating 1,500 jobs.
The combined effect will be significant regeneration and a massive economic boost to the city.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
HS2 is a vital part of our long-term economic plan. By locating the new HS2 engineering HQ in Birmingham we are bringing skilled job opportunities into the area, spreading HS2’s benefits beyond those using the new rail line.
It is great news that Birmingham City Council has created a company specifically to focus on the regeneration opportunities created by HS2. It will bring new investment and work into the city, helping secure the future prosperity of the region and the country.
HS2 Chairman, David Higgins said:
The lasting impact of HS2 will, in the end, be determined by how successfully local authorities and regions use it as a catalyst to transform and develop not just their economies, but also the look and feel of the areas it touches. The Birmingham Curzon Urban Regeneration Company will, therefore, be hugely important both for Birmingham and the rest of the West Midlands, and also as an example to the rest of the cities along the route. I acknowledge and applaud the work that has gone on to get this far and wish it every success in the future.
The new Birmingham-based construction HQ will house up to 1,500 HS2 Ltd employees with the first part expected to open from 2015. Some employees will move their base from London to the new HQ but the majority will be brand new highly skilled jobs for the city. These will include the engineers and designers responsible for detailed construction plans for the track, stations and signalling as well as the staff needed to support their work.
The Birmingham Curzon Urban Regeneration Company will lead redevelopment in the heart of the city centre, which will:
- redevelop over 140 hectares of land
- create 14,000 jobs
- provide 600,000 square metres of new employment floorspace
- provide space for 2,000 homes
- contribute up to £1.3 billion a year to the local economy.
The establishment of the regeneration body represents a bold and new approach to driving local economic growth, in what is a major transfer of power away from central government.
To accelerate the regeneration of the Curzon Street site, the area’s Growth Deal, the agreement which sees central government funds allocated to local projects, provides a further £130 million and help to bring forward work to extend the Midland Metro. The planned extension will bring tram services into the heart of the Birmingham Curzon area and link the HS2 terminus directly into the local transport system.
Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham Council said:
Since the industrial revolution, Birmingham has been a national capital for engineering, so it is only natural that the HS2 construction HQ be based in Birmingham.
HS2 is an important step in rebalancing the country’s economy, supporting growth in the regions and encouraging more inward investment into the city.
It is essential that we have the power to make local decisions, and the Regeneration Company will allow us to realise the full potential and benefit of HS2 for this area.