HS2 will boost West Midlands economy by £10bn in next 10 years – report

HS2 will drive a £10 billion economic boost for the West Midlands during the next 10 years, according to new research.

The impending arrival of the high-speed railway will lead to the creation of around 41,000 new homes, nearly 31,000 new jobs and more than 700,000 square metres of new commercial floorspace in the region, analysis commissioned by HS2 Ltd found.

The study analysed the impact of the project within a 1.5-mile radius of HS2 stations Curzon Street in central Birmingham and Interchange in Solihull, as well as the planned Network Integrated Control Centre and maintenance depot in Washwood Heath.

Almost 55,000 new homes have been planned for development in that time, compared with fewer than 10,000 during the same period before Royal Assent was granted.

The rate of increase in planned housing around HS2’s three West Midlands hubs has been 14 times greater than elsewhere in the region, according to the research.

Meanwhile, the total construction value of mayor projects in those areas has risen from £4.5 billion to £15.4 billion, the study said.

HS2 Ltd executive chair Sir Jon Thompson said: “This new research provides evidence that HS2’s future arrival is already driving transformational regeneration and investment in the West Midlands.

“It shows that investor appetite, regeneration and investment close to where we’re building our three key assets in the region has surged in the last six years.

“Driven by the promise of enhanced connectivity and heightened investor confidence, HS2’s arrival is spreading prosperity and opportunity to the communities it touches for generations to come.”

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “This research demonstrates that HS2 has delivered substantial investment and development opportunities in our region in recent years.

“Whether it’s urban regeneration, improved local transport connections, increased housing provision and of course new jobs, HS2 is benefiting local people, businesses and our wider economy.

“It’s vital that local people see the tangible benefits of major schemes like this.”

Phase One of HS2 is due to open between 2029 and 2033.

Services will initially run to and from Old Oak Common in the suburbs of west London amid delays in extending the line to Euston in the centre of the capital.

Sir Jon, who has led the project since Mark Thurston left his role as chief executive in September 2023, warned last month that the estimated cost for Phase One has soared to as much as £66.6 billion.

In 2013, HS2 was estimated to cost £37.5 billion (in 2009 prices) for the entire planned network, including now-scrapped extensions from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds.

Sir Jon attributed the overspend to original budgets being too low, changes to scope, lower than expected productivity, weak contractual models and inflation.

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