Midlands Engine

21.09.18

Former Aston Villa chair announced as WMCA HS2 growth delivery chair

Steve Hollis has been announced as the new chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) HS2 growth delivery board.

A former chairman of EFL Championship team Aston Villa, Hollis will oversee the £4.4bn budget as the HS2 Growth Strategy reaches a crucial stage of development, which includes construction of two new stations Curzon Street and Interchange; as well as the rolling stock depot at Washwood Heath.

Hollis is currently the chairman of Birmingham Metropolitan College Corporation and the University of Birmingham Business School Advisory Board. He will have a key role in working with the government as the West Midlands looks to continue to use HS2 as a platform for future success and increased investment.

Hollis said HS2 is already having an “incredible” impact on the West Midlands, adding: “HS2 presents a once in a generation chance to deliver growth on an unprecedented scale and we have an important role to play in ensuring the region is able to meet this challenge.”

“I am excited to become part of this transformational project, which is very much beyond building a railway and I look forward to meeting the many stakeholders that are responsible for delivering the different elements that form the programme,” he noted.

In his new role, Hollis will be responsible for overseeing the work being implemented on business support and supply chain, and jobs and skills strategies, as it looks to unlock additional economic successes in the region. He will also have an important role working with the government as the West Midlands looks to continue to use HS2 as a platform for future success and increased investment.

Councillor Bob Sleigh, deputy mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority and HS2 portfolio lead, said: “We welcome Steve’s appointment as the new chair of the Growth Delivery Board. Having a chair with the experience, and the detailed local knowledge, that Steve brings to the programme will be invaluable, as we enter a period where HS2 becomes increasingly visible, with the development of the new stations, construction of the high-speed rail track, and the implementation of the wider connectivity package across the region all beginning to take shape.”

The Growth Strategy will ensure that the wider region will benefit from improved national and international connectivity, securing 104,000 jobs, and improved transport access with over two million people connected to HS2.

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Image credit: WMCA

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