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HS2 HQ to be based in Birmingham

Words: Sam Waddicor

The construction headquarters for the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail line will be located in Birmingham amid £170 million related investment into the city centre, it was announced on Monday.

The HQ, which will be located in the City Centre Enterprise Zone, will create 1,500 jobs in the local area, as well as providing approximately 100,000 sq ft of letting space.

To capitalise on this, the Birmingham Curzon Urban Regeneration Company has been formed to take forward the Curzon masterplan. In order for them to do that, the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership has approved £30m to deliver infrastructure and support development across the Birmingham Curzon area.

This wider redevelopment is expected to deliver 14,000 new jobs, 600,000 square metres of employment floorspace, and 2,000 homes, as well as a £1.3bn economic boost.

It was also announced that £140m would be invested to extend the Midland Metro from Snowhill station through the new HS2 terminus location at Birmingham and down to Adderley Park.

Birmingham City Council’s director of planning and regeneration, Waheed Nazir, said: “The announcements are fantastic news for the city. Birmingham is taking a proactive approach and putting in place the mechanisms to maximise local economic growth off the back of HS2. Setting a clear strategy, through the Birmingham Curzon masterplan, and having the right tools, the regeneration company, are vital in attracting investment and stimulating growth.

“As a direct result the city has benefited through the decision to locate the HS2 construction HQ in Birmingham and the £170m funding allocations. The role of the planning profession has been intrinsic in making all this a reality.”

HS2 chair David Higgins added: “The lasting impact of HS2 will, in the end, be determined by how successfully local authorities and regions use it as a catalyst to transform and develop not just their economies, but also the look and feel of the areas it touches. The Birmingham Curzon Urban Regeneration Company will therefore be hugely important both for Birmingham and the rest of the West Midlands, and also as an example to the rest of the cities along the route.”