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McLoughlin officially opens HS2 Birmingham HQ

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin officially opened HS2 Ltd’s headquarters in Birmingham today, marking his visit to the heart of the network with a promise to employ over 1,000 staff, as previously revealed by RTM.

The headquarters in the city’s Colmore Business District will house a variety of staff, from engineers helping design the railway to procurement specialists.

Simon Kirby, HS2 Ltd’s CEO, had already told attendees at RTM’s TransCityRail North event last year that the company will recruit over 500 people in Birmingham over the next 18 months to join the existent 1,100 staff.

The headquarters will be situated in the heartland of the mammoth infrastructure project, with new stations expected at Curzon Street and Birmingham Interchange and one of two National Colleges for High Speed Rail at Aston Science Park.

Today’s official inauguration of the HQ also coincided with the final week of petitions in relation to the HS2 Phase 1 Hybrid Bill being heard at its select committee, marking a “significant step” towards the legislation that will provide the project with needed planning permission, according to the DfT.

Overall, the first phase of the high-speed link, between the capital and the West Midlands, is expected to support up to 14,600 construction jobs, 2,200 permanent operations and maintenance jobs, and 30,300 jobs “supported by development” around major HS2 stations.

McLoughlin said: “HS2 will rebalance our economy, helping make the Midlands an ‘engine for growth’. The official opening of the headquarters here in Birmingham is proof that HS2 is already boosting jobs and skills, and will continue to do so as we head towards construction.

“This week we have taken another step towards putting spades in the ground as the Commons Select Committee has been hearing the final petitions on the Phase 1 Bill. I would like to pay tribute to members of the Committee, as well as those who have brought forward petitions. We have listened to residents and communities and I am pleased that in many cases we have been able to make the changes they have been calling for.”

Over the last 17 months, the Select Committee has heard almost 2,600 petitions requesting alterations in the project, many of which led to changes in the Bill. It has not all been smooth sailing, however, with the project recently subject to criticism from The Woodland Trust and the HS2 Action Alliance.

(Top image: HS2 Birmingham Interchange station design)


Fat Pat And Dave   04/02/2016 at 15:52

"Google tax deal is a major success" - George Osbourne "We will lead the greenest Government ever” - David Cameron "HS2 will rebalance our economy" - Patrick McLoughlin Spot what these government statements have in common? That's right. They are all patently untrue. It is a national disgrace that HS2 has been allowed to gather a head of steam for political purposes, because the government have no other plan to sort the UK economy. It was made up in the dying days of the Labour administration in an attempt to show there was a plan for the economy and even those in charge at the time are now admitting this was the case and that the scheme is fatally flawed. What is genuinely surprising for a Tory government is the sheer profligacy - championing this scheme with total disregard for the lack of anything resembling a reasonable business case or return on investment. There is no business case, no money to pay for it and it is simply not needed. This has been proven time and time again by a plethora of independent analysis. If they can't be trusted to pull in our debtors and would rather clamp down on the vulnerable to sweep the coffers, how can they cannot be trusted with taxpayers money to pay for HS2? Cancel it now.

Peter Hirst   05/02/2016 at 10:24

Alston Science Park? Is it in Aston by any chance?

Cynick   06/02/2016 at 17:59

Great Western to be electrified. Midland Mainline ditto. Northwest Manchester ditto. HS2 ditto. Where is all the electrical power going to come from - a Pendolino needs 6MegaWatts to pull away, the consumption of a small town. IMechE has recently gone public on the real problems to be faced in the close future due to power stations being shut down, and this doesn't take onto account the extra load for new transport. It's all very well our Government promoting wind power - yes, the input has been in excess of that provided by nuclear for most of the last two months, but occasionally there's been no wind at all. We can't rely on France with their nuclear reactors - the Germans will be in the same boat relying on (stationary) wind turbines and hence also demanding France's spare power. So, Government, wake up to this imminent likelihood of major power cuts, and TOCs, keep a good stock of diesel traction available.

Gb   15/03/2016 at 21:32

And I understand that the estimated costs of HS2 do not take into account the cost of the power generation equipment - estimated to be a further £16bn over the cost of the line and its rolling stock. I agree with Pat and Dave - cancel it now.

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