Latest Rail News

06.03.14

South East Midlands business leaders pitch for HS2 Academy

Business leaders have joined forces with the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) calling for the new HS2 Academy to be based in the region.

The consortium stated that the area’s rail expertise makes it an ideal location for the new further education college – designed to help supply the 2,000 apprenticeships that will be needed to build the line ­– announced by the government and HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins.

SEMLEP and key businesses from across its patch in Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Milton Keynes, Cherwell District and Aylesbury Vale District, have urged the government to select the South East Midlands as the academy's home, stressing the area's global and already established reputation in high performance technology and logistics.

Ann Limb, SEMLEP chair, said: “The South East Midlands is already home to world leaders in the rail industry and, combined with our international reputation for transport and innovation, we have the pedigree, employer links and expertise to ensure the success of the HS2 Academy.”

The rail industry is already a key employer in the South East Midlands, home to the Daventry International Freight Terminal (DIRFT) and Network Rail's national centre in Milton Keynes. Training and education in engineering is another strength of the region as SEMLEP co-ordinates the FUSE Group, made up of the area's nine further education colleges, which is designed to promote the work of colleges and their collective contribution to the local economy.

Daniel Mouawad, chief executive of SEMLEP, added: "We have an exceptionally strong case to host the academy and are urging businesses and education providers to join us in pressing the government to visit the South East Midlands and see for themselves why we are the ideal location.”

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