Enterprise Zone agrees £9.5m grant support for Curzon HS2 masterplan

Curzon Eastside

Birmingham’s city centre Enterprise Zone has awarded the city council grants of almost £10m to help with the early stages of the Curzon HS2 Masterplan.

The £9.56m, funded through business rates, will assist with the Curzon Station Metro stop and Curzon Station Public Realm Programme.

The public realm works surrounding the station will create new squares and open spaces intended to enhance the setting of the new station, while the metro link is intended to help connect the new station with the existing city centre, together with Digbeth and the rest of Eastside.

The delivery of the public realm programme is set out as a priority in the Curzon Masterplan and forms a key part of the Curzon Investment Plan.

The extension to the Metro line, including connectivity at the Curzon HS2 Station, is a priority within both Birmingham Connected and the West Midland Combined Authority’s Transport Plan.

The Curzon Masterplan, part of the wider Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy, was approved in 2015 and is intended to maximise the economic impact of HS2.

The masterplan sets out how the arrival of HS2 and the growth and regeneration opportunities around the terminus station could be unlocked.  Covering 141 hectares of the city centre, with the area centred on the HS2 Curzon Station, the strategy is to deliver a fully integrated and connected railway station, which will support the growth and regeneration of both the city centre and the wider area.

The plan consists of five ‘Big Move’ elements:

•    The creation of a landmark building within the city centre
•    Paternoster Place – the link between the station and the core of the city  
•    Curzon Promenade and Curzon Square  
•    Station Square and Moor Street Queensway
•    Curzon Station Metro stop

In total, the Enterprise Zone will allocate £556.8m towards the £724m package of local infrastructure investment. This is intended to maximise the impact of HS2’s arrival in 2026.

The package will be delivered in two phases:

•    Phase One – upfront investment in the infrastructure required to unlock growth immediately around the station, including the five key projects and the Metro extension to Digbeth
•    Phase Two – further investment over a wider area including public realm and local transport/highway improvements and social infrastructure to support new residential neighbourhoods

The economic impact across the Curzon area is estimated as 36,000 jobs, 600,000 sqm of commercial floorspace, over 4,000 new homes and £1.7bn private sector investment.

The ‘Big Move’ projects are not included within the scheme set out in the HS2 Hybrid Bill, which received Royal Assent in February 2017. Therefore, additional funding is required to meet the extra costs incurred by HS2 Ltd over and above the cost of the Hybrid Bill scheme.

The city council said subsequent work with HS2 and the WMCA, since the Investment Plan was approved, had indicated that a further £52m was required to deliver the ‘Big Move’ projects.

The two Enterprise Zone grants are split between £564,000 to fund the costs for designing Paternoster Place, Curzon Canal Side, and Curzon Promenade and Curzon Square.

A second grant of £9m will go towards the design and delivery of the Curzon Metro stop.