Birmingham named as new HS2 headquarters

 
Artist's impression of new station in Birmingham for the HS2 line Curzon Street will become the Birmingham hub for the first phase of the HS2 high speed line

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The headquarters for construction of the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail line is to be based in Birmingham.

HS2 Ltd, the company responsible for the project, said its new premises would house up to 1,500 staff.

It is expected to include engineers and designers responsible for track, signalling and station plans, as well as support staff.

While some jobs would move from London, the company said, many would be new roles.

Chairman David Higgins said he expected the first staff to move into the new premises in April or May 2015.

He said the fact HS2 had chosen to base its construction HQ in Birmingham rather than London showed the firm's "long-term commitment" to the city.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said it would bring skilled job opportunities to the area.

Curzon Street site Opened in 1838, little remains of the original building at Curzon Street Station beyond its facade
Curzon Street entrance artist's impression The completed Curzon Street station will be the largest building in Birmingham, the council has said
Artists impression of new Curzon Street A 141-hectare area around Curzon Street is set to be redeveloped in the run-up to HS2's launch

Birmingham City Council announced it would create a company to lead the redevelopment around Curzon Street station, which will become the Birmingham hub for the first phase of HS2.

In February, the council first announced plans to regenerate the area by building offices, a hotel and about 2,000 homes to both improve the city's "welcome" to HS2 travellers and stimulate the local economy.

Under the plans, the Grade I-listed facade of the currently derelict station would form the centrepiece of the new development, extending into nearby Digbeth and the surrounding area.

Curzon Street development

  • 366,000 sq m of office space
  • 98,000 sq m of retail
  • 57,000 sq m of hotel accommodation
  • 79,000 sq m of community and leisure related uses
  • 167,000 sq m of residential accommodation (including student accommodation)

Source: Birmingham City Council

When it is completed, the new station will be the biggest building in Birmingham, according to the city council.

Council leader Sir Albert Bore, said: "Since the industrial revolution, Birmingham has been a national capital for engineering, so it is only natural that the HS2 construction HQ be based in Birmingham."

Mr Mcloughlin said he hoped Curzon Street would repeat the "success" of London's King's Cross and St Pancras stations.

"If you think what those areas were like 20 years ago and what they're like today, I want to see that emulated in Birmingham," he said.

Business leaders and politicians meet to discuss HS2 Sir Albert Bore met with business leaders and transport minister Patrick Mcloughlin to discuss the project

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said it would be investing £30m to support plans for the 141 hectare site.

LEP chairman Andy Street, who is also the head of John Lewis, said the announcement was a sign the project was moving "away from the 'if and when'" and towards action.

"I'm absolutely convinced businesses across the West Midlands share the view this is good for the region," he said.

"It's not just about a station for Birmingham."

Earlier this month, the LEP was awarded more than £350m over three years through the government's Growth Deal.

Much of the investment was for HS2 related projects, such as extending the Metro tram line to Curzon Street.

Funding was also earmarked for a new construction training centre in Dudley, as well as facilities at Birmingham's South and City College, to help equip local people for jobs connected with the building of HS2.

 

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  • rate this
    +15

    Comment number 555.

    By the time it's finished, it'll be out of date & we'll be looking to the next generation of travel, no doubt with a new massive budget to build it.

    In the Far East, they are looking forward & have Maglev etc., which already travels faster than HS2 will be able to.

    The future is not in old-fashioned rolling stock. We need to invest in new technology & be leaders in fast, inexpensive eco travel.

  • rate this
    +36

    Comment number 422.

    When you view it as £80 billion to get to Birmingham 30 minutes quicker, only then you realise the absurdity of it all!

  • rate this
    +30

    Comment number 420.

    I live 1 mile from proposed HS2 line, near Wakefield. Current time to London 2hrs dead; give or take. Time on HS2 will still be 2hrs because I will have to travel to Leeds first. Where is the benefit to us?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 241.

    The country needs a proper high speed rail network, to speed inter-city travel and ease the pressure on the existing network, but does not want to stump up the cash! The HS2 proposal is not large enough: Scotland, Wales, and the West Country are excluded and better connection to the Channel Tunnel is needed. Incidentally, Redbus. I have often wanted to be out of Birmingham 10 minutes earlier...

  • rate this
    +13

    Comment number 238.

    Why isn't anyone asking how much a return ticket will cost? How much for a yearly pass? The last time I checked, my yearly ticket for Leicester to London was £13000.00

 

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