GBSLEP welcomes Government HS2 extension announcement
The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) has today supported the Government’s planned extension of the High Speed Rail network northwards as announced by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.
Andy Street, Chair of the GBSLEP, said: “From the outset, the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership has been unwavering in its support of the Government’s creation of a high-speed rail network in the UK.
“Quite simply, this transformational initiative represents one of the most important opportunities the GBSLEP has to bring about a step change in jobs, connectivity and economic growth.
“Now we must forge ahead in ensuring we maximise the economic dividend.
“Greater Birmingham will stand at the centre of this network, providing an unrivalled level of connectivity with the north and the south of the country while enhancing our international connectivity and, therefore, offer to potential investors.
“Our current local rail capacity challenges will be improved significantly by HS2, enabling us to seek a package of measures to improve access around the metropolitan area.
“Perhaps above all, HS2 presents the opportunity to create a new industry in Greater Birmingham as we would expect to use our strength as an advanced manufacturing centre to attract the jobs associated with this project to our region.
“While the economic benefits are huge, we acknowledge it will be challenging for some areas and the GBSLEP will continue to work with Government to ensure the social and environmental impact is minimised.
“Today’s announcement that the Government intends to press ahead with the next stage of the High Speed network is a huge statement of intent.
“We give our full backing and urge the Government to accelerate the process in order for the economic benefits to be enjoyed even sooner.”