Twenty Four hours after hosting a visit to Birmingham by Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Phillip Hammond MP, Mike Whitby, The Leader of Birmingham City Council, has outlined how the city is to invest in further supporting the case for High Speed Rail.
Cllr Whitby announced that following meetings staged yesterday between himself, Mr Hammond and local businesses, the Council will use £50,000 to support the 'Yes to HS2' group at a local level.
Cllr Whitby said: “The economic benefits HS2 will bring to the local, regional and national economy runs to billions of pounds and tens of thousands of jobs, making successful implementation of the project absolutely critical to future growth of our city and nation.
“By making this investment, and continuing to proactively lead on a Yes to HS2 campaign alongside our local businesses, the City Council is determined to do all it can to ensure this project comes to fruition for the benefit of every single citizen of Birmingham and the region.”
As well as meeting business leaders during yesterday's site visit, Cllr Whitby also explained to Mr Hammond how the HS2 line will be integrated with the £600m New Street Gateway project and visited the areas where the line will link into the city.
Commenting on Birmingham Council’s decision to donate money to a pro high speed rail fighting fund Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said:
“I very much welcome Birmingham Council’s strong support for our High Speed Rail plans and their decision to launch this fighting fund.
“Cllr Whitby and I both agree that we need to invest in high speed rail for the sake of Britain’s future economic prosperity.
“High Speed Rail will help us build a modern economy fit to compete in the 21st century. It will be good news for Birmingham and good news for the UK. I look forward to discussing our plans in more detail with Cllr Whitby and local businesses during the upcoming consultation.”
Formal public consultation on the HS2 plans is to be officially launched on Monday (28th Jan) with Cllr Whitby urging businesses, stakeholders and members of the public alike to take a look at the plans and make their voices heard.
On the consultation cllr Whitby added: “To date there has been a lot said in the media and beyond by those groups and people opposed to the plans, but until now the silent majority who will greatly benefit from the scheme have perhaps not had as much opportunity to make themselves heard.
Therefore for the sake of all our futures, and those of generations of to come, I would now urge as many people as possible to take a look at the plans and let the Government know what they think about the great opportunities it will bring.”