How HS2 can help to transform our city

Councillor Ian Ward reflects on the positive impact that HS2 is already having on Birmingham, and the importance of the project to our city’s future.

This week, I had the pleasure of visiting sites along the High Speed 2 route, including the location of the Interchange Station to the east of the city, the Washwood Heath Depot, and Curzon Street Station.

For some, HS2 might seem like a far-off dream, with trains not set to run from London to Birmingham before the end of the decade. But for many, HS2 is already having a positive impact on their lives. Just as we made the most of this summer’s spectacular Commonwealth Games to bring homes, jobs and opportunities to the city, we are determined to reap similar rewards for the people of Birmingham from HS2.

Whilst visiting the various sites this week, we were told about the thousands of jobs that HS2 has created in our region, and not just engineering jobs but a whole range of careers including HR, environmental work, planning, and finance.

Over 6,800 people are now employed in HS2’s construction in the West Midlands, with thousands more jobs supported through the wider supply chain, including 540 people who were out of work. Excitingly, over 340 apprentices from the region have started new roles on HS2, kick-starting their careers on this exciting project.

I have often talked about Birmingham’s Golden Decade of Opportunity, which will culminate in the arrival of HS2. What is clear is that HS2 is already delivering for the region, and the benefits of this project will only grow.

HS2 will bring new investment into the city, meaning new homes, new jobs and new opportunities for our citizens. It will breathe new life into the area around the new Curzon Street Station, and will help to unlock growth in the east of the city through the new Interchange Station and Arden Cross, the site to the East of Birmingham which will create 27,000 jobs and 3,000 new homes.

The HS2 project has always been about far more than just fast trains, and it is vital that the new Government continues to back the project, putting Birmingham at the centre of a high speed rail network.


This blog was posted on 28 October 2022.

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