Cities in the north and midlands could become global leaders, says HS2 Growth Taskforce
The HS2 Growth Taskforce’s report, ‘HS2: get ready’, recommends steps it says are needed to ensure the whole country shares in the job and business opportunities HS2 will deliver.
The taskforce report, published on 21 March, calls for action now to simplify and join up funding to deliver construction fast around HS2 stations sites. By accelerating regeneration and development of brownfield land on the route the report argues that big benefits will be seen in just a few years. It also calls for city regions to work together to integrate local transport networks.
The taskforce says targeted plans for local development, combined with a push to build a workforce with the right skills to fill the 25,000 new jobs to build and maintain HS2, will mean local businesses are in pole position to win the £25 billion worth of contracts that HS2 will generate, delivering wealth creation right across the country.
Lord Deighton, Taskforce Chair, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury and the former Chief Executive of London 2012, said: ‘Like the Olympics, HS2 has the potential to be a great British success story, bringing jobs and growth to the whole country. Our report sets out the common sense steps that we need to take now to achieve this.’
The taskforce’s recommendations include:
- new local bodies to create tailored growth plans for cities along the HS2 route,
- local leaders and business should use HS2 to supercharge their city regions by creating world-leading transport links and kick-starting urban regeneration,
- work to begin now to ensure young people understand and capitalise on the career opportunities HS2 will open up,
- help given to British firms to bid for HS2 contracts,
- ensuring HS2 contracts lead to local job creation, skills development and apprenticeships.