Sunak and Hunt hail Euston HS2 business opportunities

Rishi Sunak has hailed the possibilities of a redeveloped HS2 terminus at Euston, amid a meeting between the Chancellor and key figures from the construction industry.

The Prime Minister would not go so far as to promise HS2 would terminate in Euston when complete but said he was “very confident” the central London destination could be achieved.

It comes after he used a speech at the Tory party conference last week to confirm that ministers were cancelling the HS2 rail line north of Birmingham.

Mr Sunak, who visited East Staffordshire on Tuesday, said: “We are very confident that we can develop a new version of how Euston will be built, which is releasing funds for the taxpayer which we’ve invested in other transport projects now around the country.

“That model that we are using is the one that successfully has been used to develop Battersea, where we attracted private money into the project, saving taxpayers money. That is something we can replicate at Euston.”

Rishi Sunak visit to St George’s Park
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks to members of the media during a visit to St George’s Park, in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire (Darren Staples/PA)

“This is also about creating 10,000 homes for young people in central London, which is going to be fantastic news for them, but also (for) business opportunities as well.

“The opportunity here is fantastic to do something different for London, but also releasing billions of pounds of money that can now be invested in transport projects across the country.”

It comes as Jeremy Hunt held talks with construction firms and investors in 11 Downing Street, ahead of the autumn statement in November.

Among those in attendance were Mace, Skanska, Balfour Beatty, Aviva and Mott MacDonald.

A Treasury readout of the meeting said that the private sector has already expressed an interest in the redeveloped Euston project.

It said: “The Chancellor outlined how re-investing £36 billion into better transport links for more people and in more places across the country will mean more local transport improvements for towns and cities, starting sooner and finishing faster.

“He emphasised that, as has always been planned, the HS2 line will finish at Euston station in London. This site, with the potential for as many as 10,000 new homes as well as opportunities for business to thrive, has already attracted extensive investment interest from the private sector.”

The Treasury said that Mr Hunt “welcomed the industry’s views on what the core challenges facing the sector are ahead of autumn statement, and what the Government can do to address these to boost infrastructure investment and delivery”.

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