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West Midlands strategy to capitalise on HS2 unveiled

by on July 30, 2015

A strategy to capitalise on the opportunities that the arrival of High Speed Two (HS2) will bring to the West Midlands region has been unveiled by the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).

The 34-page blueprint describes how the region can use HS2 as a catalyst for major job creation, increased productivity and net national growth.

As well as regeneration and connectivity improvements for the areas surrounding the two HS2 stations at Birmingham Curzon and UK Central Interchange in Solihull, the strategy identifies practical plans to unlock additional projects as a result of HS2.

According to the strategy, the scale of the ambition includes 104,000 new and safeguarded jobs, 10 per cent of which will be created for local, unemployed residents. Overall, the plan will see the region delivering an additional £14bn in economic growth, the GBSLEP has insisted.

The strategy highlights the provision of a highly connected economic ‘growth hub’ which, when development is complete, will provide an additional 16,500 jobs within 245,972 square metres of commercial, light industrial/R&D, retail and leisure space across a range of key sectors, including advanced manufacturing, construction, utilities and ICT.

Also central to the new scheme of things will be exemplar residential communities with some 3,000 new homes and the creation of a linear park through the development as a key natural landscape and environmental asset.

The strategy also highlights the prospect of wider connectivity with improved access to Moor St Station, the extension of the Midland Metro tram network (linking to New St Station) and other local public transport improvements to spread the benefits and provide local access to jobs.

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Roger Milne

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