The number of new homes and jobs to be created by HS2 could continue to rise as cities and towns submit growth and regeneration plans for how they will benefit from the £56bn high-speed rail project
At least 90,000 new homes and half a million jobs could be created by HS2, according to the head of the UK high-speed rail project.
Sir Terry Morgan, chairman of HS2 Ltd, said the number has been calculated by assessing growth plans created by cities where HS2 stations will be built.
“Garden villages” will be built to accommodate new housing, while business parks will create new job opportunities as cities are brought closer together through faster journey times.
The first phase of the £56bn project, which will connect London with cities in the North and Midlands, is due to be completed in 2026, with further additions to the line built by about 2033.
It will connect 25 stations from Scotland to the South East and serve more than half the UK, with new stations in locations including Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Sheffield and Toton, near Nottingham.
Each region was invited to draw up their vision for how areas can best take advantage of the opportunity presented by the arrival of HS2 ahead of an HS2 Economic Growth Conference held in Birmingham today (7 November).
New jobs to be created by HS2 will help ‘spread wealth’
Sir Terry is due to say in a keynote speech this morning: “We are already seeing transformative plans coming forward from local authorities and businesses from around the country.
“My experience says we’ll see more, and this is only the beginning of the spread of wealth HS2 can bring by joining up Britain.
“Already incredible opportunities have opened up where HS2 has been embraced and a compelling vision created.
“Not every region has developed their thinking yet, and my experience tells that we’ll see these numbers continue to grow.”
With some locations apparently already seeing the benefit of HS2 years before the new railway is even in operation, he will showcase how only the regions can rebalance the national economy if they connect, integrate and share the benefits of growth.
Towns and cities across the country, including those based near HS2 stations or set to benefit from quicker journey times to London and other cities, are drawing up plans for regional growth and regeneration plans.
HS2 Ltd says this has the potential to “rebalance Britain” and “close the North-South divide for good”.
Sir Terry added: “HS2 is seeing new strategic alliances form, which overcome old rivalries.
“Our local leaders and businesses know best where homes need to be built, where people need retraining and where existing and new industries can grow.
“Only by tapping into this local knowledge and expanded partnership working can we reshape Britain permanently.
It is now important that towns and cities take ownership of their plans to ensure we make the most from HS2.”
How will new jobs be created by HS2? Partnerships are needed
Sir Terry will challenge both political and business leaders to put aside the old ways of working in order to ensure that this “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” delivers a maximum return.
This would enable people to have the jobs, skills and homes they need to thrive.
The chair will highlight both the Constellation Partnership and HS2 East, bodies which that have brought together local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and local authorities to create new alliances that are supercharged by the investment in HS2.
Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “There is huge potential for sustainable growth associated to HS2 in our area.
“An HS2 hub at Crewe will not only serve the town itself but also will bring HS2 benefits to the North West, North Wales and the Constellation Partnership.
“We have formed strategic partnerships to develop a clear plan on how HS2 can support good growth, not just in Crewe or Cheshire East, but across the whole region.
“As a partnership, we are the place where everything connects and for Crewe, HS2 is a major catalyst for delivering this change.
“We have made great progress to date and will continue working in partnership with the major stakeholders to deliver the right hub at Crewe as we know this is the right for our communities.”