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East Midlands outlines plans to ‘put HS2 site to good use’

A new strategy has been released that outlines how HS2 will add thousands of jobs and billions of pounds to the East Midlands economy.

Back in July, the government confirmed the route for phase 2 of HS2, running from the West Midlands through Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and including plans for an East Midlands ‘hub’ station at Toton in Nottinghamshire by 2033.

As part of this ambition, the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board has now submitted its growth strategy called ‘East Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy: World Class-Locally Driven to Government.’

The research builds on an initial proposal published in September 2016, and details the economic opportunity HS2 offers the region to make 74,000 jobs and inject £4bn of Gross Value Added (GVA) by 2043.

These ambitions will be delivered through the construction on an East Midlands Hub Growth Zone featuring an Innovation Campus at the Toton hub station to accommodate business and university research, as well as greater connectivity to transport like local rail and tram networks in the area.

It will also deliver more jobs and training opportunity due to HS2’s presence in the region and provide better opportunities for businesses.

Cllr Jon Collins, HS2 Strategic Board chair and leader of Nottingham City Council, said that the strategy made it clear that HS2 is not just about better transport, but instead will act as a catalyst to create new business opportunities which will bring thousands of extra jobs to the region.

“It’s really important that we put the site around the new HS2 hub to good use and so it makes sense to develop an Innovation Campus, which plays to the strengths of emerging regional business sectors and local university research,” he explained.

“It will benefit from all the enhanced transport links that we see as vital to making the most of the HS2 hub in the East Midlands.”

And Jake Berry MP, Northern Powerhouse minister, added: “The investment this government is making in HS2 represents an opportunity for economic growth, not just in the towns and cities along the route but across whole regions.”

Rail minister Paul Maynard MP also expressed his excitement at the strategy, asserting that the high-speed project will become “the backbone of our national rail network” when it is finished, supporting growth and regeneration.

“I welcome the initiative that the East Midlands local enterprise partnerships and local authorities have taken in working together to develop plans to maximise the economic benefits that HS2 will bring to Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and other parts of the region,” he noted.

Sir John Peace, chair of the Midlands Engine and Midlands Connect, also commented: “Midlands Connect and Midlands Engine are seizing the once in a lifetime opportunity HS2 brings to drive growth for the region.

“We are fully supportive of accelerating completion of the East Midlands HS2 Hub and are urging government to bring this forward.

Midlands Connect is already defining and developing the local strategic connections that will maximise the economic benefits of HS2 connectivity and, through Midlands Engine, we will work with partners to turn this ambitious growth strategy into action.”

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Stratfan   04/10/2017 at 12:57

Pure spin and no evidence as usual.

J, Leicester   04/10/2017 at 15:03

The Midlands Engine was counting on the upcoming franchise delivering classic compatable stock which could operate on HS2. That is now clearly not going to happen due to the likelihood of a minimum stock speed limit of 186mph on trains using the high speed line and the complete financial impracticality and lack of need for such stock on the wider network. It was never going to happen anyway, but that didn't stop literally every forward-thinking rail plan for the East Midlands being based around the principle. To paraphrase the Romans, "All Roads Lead To Toton" according to the folks at ME. StratFan is right. This is pure spin. They mucked up the Midlands Engine proposals by basing them on a completely unrealistic scenario of classic compatability and are now trying to change their tune to the effect of "this was our plan all along". It's the equivalent of a man with a bucket trying to bail out the Titanic. Any plans for wider benefit from HS2 subsequently went out the window, and unless you live in Toton you will see no actual benefit from HS2's construction as a result of that short-sighted thinking. Rattly bi-modes ahoy!

PP   04/10/2017 at 15:54

From the Govt's HS2 rolling stock requirements document: "Our first batch will need to be “conventional-compatible”, in other words they can operate on the existing West Coast Mainline as well as our new high speed network. 7 out of 10 trains from Euston willmove onto the conventional network to serve places like Stafford, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston and Glasgow. We will be working with the West Coast Partner to develop the detailed services–when we have done that we might need more trains than the minimum of 54. We will be asking for those options when we come to tender." Maximum speed is no limitation to being classic compatible - Eurostar was classic-compatible on the third-rail network for 13 years. Are you just not up to speed on what's happening, or are you deliberately trying to slur the project?

Andrew Gwilt   04/10/2017 at 22:26

As East Midlands HS2 “hub” station is planned to be built. The NET (Nottingham Express Transit) tram route could be built and extended to the new HS2 hub station on the outskirts of Nottingham. As it will connect between Nottingham City Centre and the HS2 hub station or possibly a new direct train service to be introduced that will operate between Nottingham (Mainline) railway station and East Midlands HS2 “Hub” station.

Noam   05/10/2017 at 09:11

PP, I think J was trying to say there would be no classic-compatible trains in the East Midlands franchise. We all know there will be classic compatibles in the HS2/West Coast Partnership. In the main however you're right, J is trying to slur the project. It is nonsense, for example, to state that 'unless you live in Toton you will see no actual benefit from HS2's construction'. Three of the city's largest employers - Boots, QMC and the University - are located in West Nottingham and will be as close to Toton by tram as they are to Nottingham Station.

J, Leicester   06/10/2017 at 10:58

I should have clarified. Unless you live in Nottingham, which I've always seen Toton as practically being a suburb of anyway, or the towns directly surrounding it like Long Eaton, you will see no benefit from HS2. Nothing for Leicester, nothing for Derby, nothing for Mansfield, nothing for Worksop, nothing for Melton, nothing for Market Harborough, nothing for Coalville, nothing for Loughborough, nothing for Burton, nothing for Belper. You've got to cram onto an unfit-for-purpose bi-mode train or a packed local crawler to get to Toton then make a change to the high speed network. You may as well drive there. I'm just stating the facts - the Midlands Engine was counting on classic compatability, and that will now not happen at Toton, effectively cutting off the whole East Midlands franchise from onward running onto HS2. The edge which rail may have had as an interconnected transport mode is dead in the water for all but those directly surrounding the "hub". Classic compatible trains are not economic for the most part either way. If that were true, TOCs would have been tripping over themselves to snap up withdrawn Eurostar 373s, but that's not happening due to their eye-watering running costs, as GNER found to their detriment all those years ago. It bothers me to hear M.E. trying to spin their failure to achieve a completely unrealistic target as some sort of success, but in all honesty I've become numb to it all over the past few months. Nottingham gets their transport investment while the rest of the region festers, as usual. It just goes down as another snake oil sale from those planning the future of rail in the region. They should have been honest from the start and said that their intentions were to build an economic hub in Toton, and nothing more. Classic compatability was never going to happen for multiple economic and logistical reasons, and it was Grayling-level doublespeak for them to even suggest it in the first place. If you think that constitutes a slur, so be it. The East Midlands doesn't end with Nottingham.

Nick   06/10/2017 at 14:58

And the problem J describes has further repercussions. Because the long-distance traffic gets taken off the "heritage" lines, the TOC starts making these services all-stations so really disadvantaging travellers along the lines. I see the same thing happening at Watford Junction, where we still get a few decent service trains.

AJG89   08/10/2017 at 11:16

I still think that the electrification on the Midland Main Line North of Bedford will not happen as Chris Grayling has stopped the electrification but the electrification on the Great Western Main Line, Chase Line, Gospel Oak-Barking and Shotts Line will still continue until the electrification is completed. Unless the electrification on the Midland Main Line will soon start from 2020.

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