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Local authorities key to unlocking HS2 regeneration – McLoughlin

Local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships will play a vital role in unlocking the regeneration and growth opportunities HS2 has to offer, according to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

In his response to the independent HS2 Growth Taskforce’s report, published in March, it was stated that “planning for HS2 needs to begin quickly, and the government believes that local areas with Phase One stations should establish their local delivery bodies by Spring 2015”.

However, it was confirmed that the government will work with all HS2 places to develop growth strategies and local delivery bodies.

In particular it was noted that HS2 Ltd and London and Continental Railways (LCR) have developed a proposal for an HS2 regeneration and development company, as recommend by the Growth Taskforce.

The proposed objectives of the company will include co-ordinating HS2-led regeneration and development, offering local partners expertise on commercial and investment opportunities, as well as support for HS2; working with local partners to ensure that the HS2 stations and surrounding infrastructure and development are fully integrated; and helping local delivery bodies to identify sources of investment, including from overseas.

The HS2 Ltd and LCR working group will now develop a full business case, by Autumn 2014, which will set out in detail how a regeneration and development company could achieve the above objectives, how it might be constituted including any partnership arrangements, and the resources required to deliver its objectives.

McLoughlin added: “As the Growth Taskforce report made clear HS2 can have a transformational impact on the UK. Local authorities need to rise to this challenge.

“In responding to the Growth Taskforce we are giving our full support to local areas to develop their ‘HS2 growth strategies’ and transform cities, towns and regions into magnets for growth.”

Earlier this week, Birmingham announced its regeneration plans for the HS2 Curzon Street site, demonstrating how the city’s strong local vision will drive development.

Lord Deighton, chair of the HS2 Growth Taskforce, said: “It is great to see the government taking the next steps towards this through local growth plans and proposals for a central regeneration company. Together we will ensure Britain has what it takes to get the best out of this project.”

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