Get ready to dissemble
Birmingham local enterprise partnership is seeking £3.3 billion of government “investment” to “exploit the economic opportunity offered by the planned HS2 rail link with London”, the Financial Times reported (paywall).
[Birmingham seeks £3.3bn boost to exploit HS2 rail link, John Murray Brown, FT, July 23, 2015]
The Greater Birmingham and Solihull local enterprise partnership (LEP) wants to improve transport connections, invest in supply chain companies and create or safeguard 100,000 jobs – 10 per cent of which would be for local unemployed people.
[…] The LEP’s HS2 plan, which was published on Thursday, envisages an interchange station at Solihull, accessing Birmingham airport and the National Exhibition Centre, as well as a terminus in Birmingham city centre at Curzon Street.
[…] It is seeking £2.9bn to develop Curzon Street and Solihull stations, and invest in related infrastructure. On top of this, £366m is earmarked to support business and the supply chain.
[…] The LEP says it is now engaged in an “outreach programme” in North America, Asia and Europe to explain the benefits of HS2 and persuade businesses to locate their European and international headquarters in the area, and not just move operational and production facilities.
At the time of writing, the following ‘information’ is available on the GBSLEP website.
Commissioned by GBSLEP, the Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy sets out the opportunities that the arrival of HS2 affords the region. It aims to leverage the benefits delivered by HS2 to drive local growth on a nationally-significant scale over and above the construction of HS2, through targeted packages of interventions that are tailored to the local context. It will ultimately drive job creation, increase productivity and generate net national growth, such that the investment will pay for itself over time.
The interventions – focussed on the three strategic pillars of People, Business and Place as set out in GBSLEP’s Strategy for Growth – comprise the following:
Getting our people ready, with a Skills Action Plan that will ensure that local people are inspired and skilled to take up the economic opportunities presented by HS2 and the associated infrastructure investment
Getting our businesses ready with:
a programme that will develop and support all supply chain companies locally and nationally, to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the HS2 programme
a strategy to ensure that the region maximises its appeal to prospective overseas and domestic investors, leveraging the investment in HS2 and associated infrastructure
Getting our places ready by providing:
“mission critical” infrastructure and significant public realm enhancements to maximise the potential of the station sites at Birmingham Curzon and the UK Central Interchange in Solihull creating two world class points of arrival for the Midlands
A regional connectivity package of targeted and prioritised transport schemes, which magnify and spread the benefits of HS2 across the Midlands
The Strategy will ensure that the wider region will benefit from radically improved national and international connectivity. The two HS2 stations and Birmingham Airport, with its huge potential and ability to open up access to key international markets, will drive new areas for regeneration, housing and business growth across the Midlands. The major investment in region-wide connectivity will provide access to significant employment and training opportunities for local residents, and is ultimately capable of delivering:
104,000 created and safeguarded jobs – with 10% of all jobs created for local residents who are currently unemployed
Increase the number of people qualified to NVQ Level 4 or equivalent to the national average of 36%
700 business supported to take advantage of the opportunities
£14bn additional economic output
2,000,000 of the region’s population connected to HS2 by public transport
The plan to connect “2,000,000 of the region’s population to HS2 by public transport” includes spending £400 million on a shonky tramline to Bickenhill.