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Harness the transformational opportunity presented by HS2

As set out in the Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy, HS2 presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to drive productivity, economic growth and prosperity across the Midlands.

The two HS2 stations will drive new areas for regeneration, housing and business growth. The Birmingham Curzon Investment Plan and growth plans for UK Central in Solihull have set out the opportunity to create more than 52,000 jobs and £1.25 billion in GVA per annum. With an associated package of local transport investments, HS2 provides the opportunity to dramatically transform East Birmingham and North Solihull, two areas of long-standing deprivation.

Birmingham Airport has huge potential and the ability to open up access to key international markets for thousands of the region’s businesses, and will be significantly bolstered by HS2 bringing 35 million people within two hours’ travel. HS2 will also further enhance Greater Birmingham’s attractiveness as an investment location.

HS2 Ltd’s decision to base the national construction headquarters in Birmingham will create 1,500 jobs. The city will co-host the National College for High Speed Rail, and the supply chain is already concentrating in the Midlands. In turn, this presents a significant opportunity to overcome long-standing challenges with low levels of attainment and stubborn levels of unemployment in the city.

HS2 also represents a potential significant opportunity to stimulate demand-led innovation that builds our supply chain strengths including in advanced manufacturing and construction in the application of key disruptive technologies including digital and low carbon.

Whilst HS2 presents a huge opportunity for the Midlands Engine, the West Midlands and Greater Birmingham in particular, there are a number of barriers that must be overcome to ensure that our people, our businesses and our places can fully capitalise on it.

HS2 and the associated infrastructure projects will deliver new job opportunities in the West Midlands on an unprecedented scale. Our analysis concludes that the majority of those opportunities will require NVQ Level 3+ qualifications – an area in which Greater Birmingham lags behind the national average.

Large capital infrastructure investments such as Crossrail and the 2012 London Olympic Games make significant contributions to economic growth through supply chain activity. HS2 will be no exception. However, supply chains in key industries face varied barriers to growth that, unchecked, will prevent them from taking full advantage.

In order to create world-class places, both Birmingham Curzon and the UK Central Hub require huge investment in infrastructure to enable growth to come forward. Furthermore, significant connectivity enhancements are required to ensure that people and businesses can access the station sites and associated development zones and fully participate in the economic opportunities created.

Our approach, as set out in the Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy, uses HS2 to build an economic, social and environmental legacy for the Midlands. It builds on the region’s fundamental strengths, which lie in its people, businesses and places. We are targeting new investment to unlock regeneration schemes, form new social and educational structures and through our transformational Midlands Connect partnership, open up the region’s connectivity locally, nationally and internationally.

PEOPLE

We will ensure that local people are inspired and skilled to fill the opportunities that arise and that they continue to develop their skills throughout their careers, driving productivity and attracting new investment. This will include:

  • The implementation of the HS2 Skills Strategy
  • The construction of the National College for High Speed Rail

BUSINESS

We will ensure that local and regional businesses are ready and able to capitalise on the thousands of new business opportunities that will be generated in the construction of HS2, and in the subsequent economic opportunities that being one of the most connected locations in the country will generate. This will include:

  • The further development and delivery of the HS2 Supply Chain and Business Support programme
  • Exploring opportunities with HS2 Ltd. to stimulate demand-led innovation that increases the competitiveness of our supply chains including in advanced manufacturing and engineering and construction

PLACE

Greater Birmingham will be home to two world-class, landmark stations, each acting as destinations in their own right and will be catalysts for regeneration and growth in their own localities and across the wider region. The development zones surrounding the stations will complement the overall strength of the Midlands as the place to visit, live and do business. This will include:

  • The delivery of the Birmingham Curzon Masterplan to maximise the regeneration potential of HS2 through a £724m programme of activity that will integrate the new rail terminus into the heart of the city centre
  • Capitalising on the UK Central Hub, one of the strongest economic bases in the UK today, with potential to generate major growth and make a significant contribution to the UK economy
  • The delivery of the HS2 Connectivity Package, supporting our broader vision to harness the unrivalled connectivity and investment opportunities by effectively connecting the HS2 stations and their associated development zones to other transport hubs, local communities and the wider region