HS2 comes another step closer to construction
Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, has officially opened HS2 Ltd’s Headquarters building in Birmingham. Some 1,000 staff will be employed at the Colmore Business District site, who will be responsible for everything from design to procurement.
The ceremony has coincided with final petitions requesting changes to the HS2 Phase One hybrid Bill, being heard in the House of Commons. If passed, the Bill will provide planning permission for Phase One of the HS2 route between London and West Midlands.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “HS2 will rebalance our economy, helping make the Midlands an ‘engine for growth’. The official opening of the headquarters here in Birmingham is proof that HS2 is already boosting jobs and skills, and will continue to do so as we head towards construction.
“This week we have taken another step towards putting spades in the ground as the Commons Select Committee has been hearing the final petitions on the Phase One Bill. I would like to pay tribute to members of the Committee, as well as those who have brought forward petitions. We have listened to residents and communities and I am pleased that in many cases we have been able to make the changes they have been calling for.”
The new Headquarters is located at the heart of the HS2 network, with the train stopping at new stations to be constructed at Curzon Street and Birmingham Interchange when the Phase One route opens in 2026.
Further connections will be to Crewe (2027), Leeds and Manchester (2033).
HS2 will play a vital role in boosting jobs, skills, growth and regeneration in the country, with Phase One of HS2 expected to create some 14,600 construction jobs, 2,200 permanent operations and maintenance jobs, and 30,300 jobs supported by development around HS2stations in Euston, Old Oak Common, Birmingham Interchange and Birmingham Curzon Street.
HS2 Ltd Chairman Sir David Higgins, said: “The arrival of HS2 in Birmingham will play a vital role in boosting jobs, skills, economic growth and regeneration across the city. Britain’s second city is at the heart of the HS2 network and I am delighted that the Secretary of State has today officially opened our Headquarters at 2 Snowhill, as the project moves towards construction.
“I am proud HS2 has chosen Birmingham as its future home to house up to 1,000 staff to deliver the largest infrastructure project Britain has seen for decades.”
The HS2 Phase One hybrid Bill is expected to achieve Royal Assent by December 2016. Construction on the London to Birmingham route is due to start in 2017.