The two new HS2 railway stations, Birmingham Curzon Street and Interchange, are the keys to massive amounts of regeneration across the wider region, which is expected to create 50,000 jobs in Birmingham and Solihull alone.
The process to decide who will build Curzon Street and Interchange Stations will commence later this year and conclude in 2019, but businesses are being advised by the local authorities to start now and ensure they are well placed to take advantage of the billions of pounds of investment in the region from HS2 Ltd. As well as the new stations, there will be huge investment in civil engineering work as the high speed line is constructed, while an extensive programme of preparatory works, ranging from archaeology investigations to nature conservation is already underway.
The West Midlands Combined Authority is aiming to help the region make the most of the economic opportunities associated with HS2.
Lisa Hamilton, WMCA HS2 Project Manager, said: “The two new stations will be the physical embodiment of HS2 here in the West Midlands but for many workers and companies, it will be the construction of the stations which delivers the major benefits.
“The designers have just been appointed by HS2 Ltd, so it will be several months before we know what the stations will look like, but we do know that the arrival of HS2 is a once in lifetime level of investment in the region’s infrastructure. The delivery of the two HS2 stations will require a vast supply chain, creating thousands of sub-contract opportunities and jobs, the majority of which will be construction related.
“To help local businesses, support is available through local Growth Hubs, which are well placed to provide free advice across a number of related areas, including capital expenditure, application of innovative advanced technology, building information modelling, market development, and mentoring and coaching.”
Huw Rhys Lewis, Managing Director for the Urban Growth Company, which is coordinating infrastructure investment and development around the HS2 Interchange Station site in Solihull commented:
“HS2 is the catalyst for huge amounts of growth across the region. The new Interchange Station will be complemented by the much wider plans for The Hub, which includes the NEC, Birmingham Airport, Jaguar Land Rover and Birmingham Business Park, as well as infrastructure improvements.
“These plans will see The Hub have a major impact on the local area improving connectivity and stimulating the local economy, with the potential to create up to 77,000 new jobs, 775,000 square metres of commercial space, 4,000 homes and £4.1bn GVA per year.
“As we move forward in developing these plans for The Hub it’s critical that the supply chain is there and ready to deliver the immense amount of work required to meet the deadline of 2026 for the first high speed train to arrive in the West Midlands.”
Businesses that want to find out more about the opportunities within the HS2 Supply Chain Programme, the eligibility criteria, how to apply, and the support and funding available, should contact their local Growth Hub where they will receive free advice. To find the relevant contact details, visit http://www.lepnetwork.net/growth-hubs/. Full details of all HS2 opportunities are available via the CompeteFor portal: https://www.competefor.com.