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Sheffield City Region given £1.2m boost to develop HS2 growth strategy

The government has agreed to provide South Yorkshire leaders with over £1m to spend on preparing an HS2 ‘growth strategy’ for the region.

The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), made up of the nine local authority areas of Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales and North East Derbyshire, will be provided with an initial £625,000.

The LEP will then receive a further £625,000 when the HS2 route through South Yorkshire is confirmed, as the government currently consults on whether to have a station near Sheffield city centre, recommended by Sir David Higgins in a July 2016 report on the region, rather than the out-of-town Meadowhall shopping centre as was originally proposed.

The government’s ‘command paper’ on its HS2 plans said: “The secretary of state is today confirming that £625,000 of UK government HS2 growth strategy funding has been made available for the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

“The government plans to make a further £625,000 available following confirmation of the route in South Yorkshire. We will work with local authorities to release these funds.”

A report made to the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority said the money would help the combined authority with preparing a growth strategy “in order to take full advantage of the economic benefits of HS2”.

The initial £625,000 will be focused on “maximising Sheffield City Region-wide benefits”, with the second instalment available for “station master-planning”.

South Yorkshire does not yet know whether or not it will have its own dedicated HS2 station after the idea of building a station at Meadowhall was dismissed due to cost concerns. HS2 bosses are currently deciding whether to build an additional station for the county between Doncaster, Rotherham and Wakefield.

Separate to the region’s growth strategies, the Sheffield City Region is also commissioning a £40,000 report into ‘possible mitigation measures’ on the currently proposed route for the county, looking specifically at how the route will affect people in Doncaster and Rotherham.

It said: “This will include looking at minor route or design amendments to reduce the number of properties affected and the scale of the impact.

“The study will be commissioned from consultants in early December and report back by early February so that its findings can be used to inform the Sheffield City Region response to the HS2 route consultation.”

The cost of the Sheffield City Region’s HS2 mitigation study will be accommodated from the combined authority’s existing transport budgets.

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David   20/12/2016 at 11:30

As far as I'm aware, moving the HS2 station back to Sheffield is considered a snub for the rest of the South Yorkshire region. What it really needs is better connections between Sheffield and Doncaster. Rotherham is getting the Supertram-train, which will provide additional connections along the Sheffield corridor, however that's not going to be enough. Some kind of electric suburban service between Sheffield and Doncaster (in a similar manner to Doncaster-Leeds) would have been ideal. If the Midland electrification had actually been started on time, I would have suggested that the Dearne Valley be a good place to soak up some of the many Class 321 units that are coming off-lease.

Graham Nalty   20/12/2016 at 14:35

Cities create wealth and the growth of cities increases the wealth of its people. Good transport assist growth by enabling people to travel to get the best jobs and for people to meet and share ideas that will create the wealth of the future. That is why it is most important that HS2 serves Sheffield properly as an interchange, not simply as a connection to London. If we really want to grow the Northern economy, then HS2 needs to serve the centres of cities such as Sheffield, with fast trains not only to London, but also to Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh. Building HS2 based on the fastest journey times to London and the expense of connections between our other cities will only benefit London and make the Northern cities more dependent on London with less wealth to distribute from the local economy. The 'flood plain' argument by HS2 is just another excuse not to serve Sheffield properly with HS2 trains.

Huguenot   20/12/2016 at 18:27

What does "a station near Sheffield City centre" mean? Since all HS2 trains are now going to be classic-compatible, it would be ludicrous not to use Sheffield Midland. If HS2 used Victoria or some other location, much-needed connectional opportunities would be lost. Meadowhall might not have served Sheffield city centre all that well, but at least it would have been a good railhead for the rest of South Yorkshire.

John Burns   21/12/2016 at 11:51

It is simple. You have fast local trains from the main HS2 station to the surrounding towns. It is not rocket science. These train will then add further value is serving the local communities.

David   27/12/2016 at 11:49

Huguenot, when was the change in train specification announced?

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