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HS2 'to spread prosperity away from London'

17 January 2014 Last updated at 22:46 GMT

The man appointed with overseeing the HS2 high-speed rail link claims it will spread prosperity away from London to the Midlands and beyond.

Sir David Higgins, who met leaders of big cities such as Sheffield and Manchester in Birmingham earlier, said Birmingham could be the venue for a new engineering college, which would create jobs and boost skills.

He said: "Business is too concentrated in London. You need to distribute that wealth further north."

Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore: "Have a look at France and have a look at Germany and see what's happened when high-speed lines have been introduced there... That's helped to balance the economies of those countries."

But Bob Gasch, of Marston Against HS2, said: "I think the majority of the business will go down to London and create more wealth down there."

Ted Manders, of Stafford Borough Council, said: "There is a real fear is shire districts like Stafford borough that we'll actually lose out as a consequence of HS2."

BBC Midlands Today's Giles Latcham reports - some of the early images are from HS2 Ltd.

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