HS2 will drive urban regeneration

By on 21/03/2014 in Leader, News

Cities in the North and Midlands could become global leaders thanks to HS2, predict key figures from business, politics and the trade union movement.

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, is joined by (L ) Andrew Cleaves, Lead Transport Member GBS LEP; Andy Street, Chair GBS LEP and John Lewis MD; and Ken Meeson, Leader of Solihull Council (R) to launch the HS2 Growth Taskforce report.

The Growth Taskforce, which brings together figures from across the political spectrum and the private and public sectors – from Sir John Rose, ex-CEO of Rolls-Royce to Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the TUC - delivered its recommendations to government today, calling for action now to maximise the economic and social impacts of HS2. The Taskforce's report, HS2: Get Ready, recommends the steps needed to ensure the whole country shares in the job and business opportunities HS2 will deliver.

The announcement follows world-leading engineer Sir David Higgins' report, published on Monday, setting out how HS2 might be delivered sooner.

The Taskforce report calls for action now to simplify and join up funding to deliver construction fast around HS2 stations sites. By accelerating regeneration and development of brownfield land on the route the report argues that big benefits will be seen in just a few years. It also calls for city regions to work together to integrate local transport networks.

Targeted plans for local development, combined with a push to build a workforce with the right skills to fill the 25,000 new jobs to build and maintain HS2, will mean local businesses are in pole position to win the £25bn worth of contracts that HS2 will generate, delivering wealth creation right across the country.

The Taskforce says that a 'business as usual' approach will not be enough, and calls for the same levels of ambition and collaboration that saw Britain deliver a hugely successful Olympic Games.

The Taskforce's recommendations include:

  • new local bodies to create tailored growth plans for cities along the HS2 route;
  • local leaders and business use HS2 to supercharge their city regions by creating world-leading transport links and kick-starting urban regeneration;
  • work to begin now to ensure young people understand and capitalise on the career opportunities HS2 will open up;
  • help given to British firms to bid for HS2 contracts; and
  • ensuring HS2 contracts lead to local job creation, skills development and apprenticeships. 

Lord Deighton, Taskforce Chair, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury and the former Chief Executive of London 2012, said: “Like the Olympics, HS2 has the potential to be a great British success story, bringing jobs and growth to the whole country.  Our report sets out the common sense steps that we need to take now to achieve this.”

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, transport lead for the Core Cities Cabinet and member of the HS2 Growth Taskforce, said: “Studies within the West Midlands have shown that with HS2 alone there is a potential for an additional 22,000 jobs and £1.7bn per year of economic growth. With the implementation of our connectivity package, which provides for full integration into the existing transport network, this increases to 50,000 jobs and £4bn per year.

“In addition to this we have just launched our Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan, which shows the potential for growth and regeneration around our city centre station for 700,000 square metres of new floor space and an additional 14,000 jobs.” 

Lord Heseltine welcomed the Taskforce's report. He said: “The HS2 Growth Taskforce has shown just the kind of thinking needed to maximise growth and unleash the potential of great cities such as Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester and Sheffield.  The report provides a clear view of what must be done, and equally importantly who must do it, if we are to get Britain truly ready to benefit from HS2.” 

The full report is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/policy-advisory-groups/hs2-growth-taskforce

-ends-

Media contact

Paul Shackson     
Tel: 020 2066 0278    
Mob: 07765 298910     
Email: pshackson@goodrelationsregional.co.uk
  
EDITORS NOTES

Summary of Taskforce Recommendations

Getting our cities ready

  • Each station city should produce an 'HS2 Growth Strategy' in 2014 explaining how high speed rail will generate local jobs, growth and regeneration.
  • Each station city should also have a locally led delivery body to be set up this year

Getting our transport network ready

  • Cities should develop plans for how HS2 will integrated into local transport systems.  These should be well advance by the end of 2014
  • Phase Two station locations should be determined by the economic growth potential in each possible station location.
  • Collaboration across organisations and geographical boundaries must be strengthened to support transport planning around HS2

Getting our people ready

  • Government must make growing the rail and advanced engineering skills base a national priority
  • HS2 Ltd should design a procurement process which requires suppliers to meet the highest standards in terms of apprenticeships, job creation and skills development

Getting our businesses ready

  • HS2 Ltd should set new standards for industry engagement and open procurement.
  • LEPs and local authorities should target businesses in their areas and set up dedicated centres of excellence to help them get fit for HS2

HS2 Growth Taskforce
The HS2 Growth Taskforce, chaired by Lord Deighton was established in summer 2013 to provide recommendations on how to maximise economic growth and job opportunities from the government's plans to build a high speed rail network.  The make-up of the taskforce was designed to bring a broad range of relevant experience and perspectives.   It comprised representatives from the station cities as well as business leaders, individuals with experience of delivering major infrastructure and regeneration projects plus experts on transport and urban economics. The Taskforce Members are:

• Lord Deighton (Chair), Commercial Secretary to the Treasury
• Sir Howard Bernstein, CEO Manchester City Council (deputy)
• Sir Albert Bore, Leader Birmingham City Council
• Sir John Rose, Deputy Chairman Rothschild Group
• Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of TUC
• Neale Coleman, Mayor of London's Adviser on Olympic Legacy
• Prof Tony Venables, Oxford University
• Alison Nimmo, CEO Crown Estate â€¢ Pete Waterman, Cheshire and Warrington LEP
• Cllr Julie Dore, Leader Sheffield City Council
• Cllr Matthew Colledge, Leader of Trafford Council
• Lorraine Baldry, Chair of London and Continental Railways
• Ray O'Rourke, Chairman Laing O'Rourke
• Steven Norris, businessman and former Transport Minister
• Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region LEP

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