HS2 boss says route will bring 500,000 jobs and 90,000 new homes
The boss of HS2 says the project will create nearly 500,000 jobs and 90,000 new homes as it generates local growth along its route.
Speaking at a conference in the West Midlands today, HS2 chairman Sir Terry Morgan said: “Half a million jobs and ninety thousand homes are just the beginning.”
Local growth plans for the high-speed rail link between London, Birmingham and the North show almost half a million jobs created at HS2 station sites, with homes to be built around the stations, including in new garden villages.
Sir Terry Morgan is speaking today at the inaugural HS2 Economic Growth Conference, held at the National Conference Centre near Solihull.
He will state how locally led growth strategies are the key to unlocking HS2’s potential at the HS2 Economic Growth Conference.
Sir Terry said: “We are already seeing transformative plans coming forward from local authorities and businesses from around the country.
"My experience says we’ll see more, and this is only the beginning of the spread of wealth HS2 can bring by joining up Britain.
“Already incredible opportunities have opened up where HS2 has been embraced and a compelling vision created.
"Not every region has developed their thinking yet, and my experience tells that we’ll see these numbers continue to grow.”
The team behind the £56 billion rail scheme claim some places already seeing the benefit of HS2 years before the new railway is even in operation, and Sir Terry says the regions can rebalance the national economy if they 'connect, integrate and share the benefits of growth'.
Those backing HS2 see it as the enabler for unprecedented opportunities to attract more jobs and training, increase trade and investment, build new homes and improve local transport connections.
Connecting 25 stations from Scotland to the South East, HS2 will serve over half of the UK.
The first phase will see it link London with Birmingham, with a new city centre station at Curzon Street and another, called the Interchange, beside Birmingham Airport.
The HS2 company says the promise of jobs and homes is "seen as only the start of what could be achieved as construction of the new railway begins".
Towns and cities across the country are bringing forward their own regional growth and regeneration plans which supporters say "have the potential to rebalance Britain, closing the North-South divide for good".
Sir Terry Morgan added: “HS2 is seeing new strategic alliances form which overcome old rivalries. Our local leaders and businesses know best where homes need to be built, where people need retraining and where existing and new industries can grow.
“Only by tapping into this local knowledge and expanded partnership working can we reshape Britain permanently. It is now important that towns and cities take ownership of their plans to ensure we make the most from HS2.”
Speaking today, Sir Terry will challenge both political and business leaders to "put aside the old ways of working in order to ensure that this once in a lifetime opportunity delivers a maximum return. In order to enable people to have the jobs, skills and homes they need to thrive".