New HS2 station to be a catalyst for regional growth
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The Chairs of both Birmingham Airport and HS2 Ltd have said at a recent meeting that the new Interchange Station, alongside the airport’s growth plans, are crucial to improving the future connectivity and prosperity for the region.
Interchange Station, part of the HS2 network, should be up and running by 2026 as a major gateway station for the region. It is part of a new public transport interchange serving Birmingham, Solihull, the wider West Midlands and is situated in close proximity to Birmingham Airport and the NEC.
Phase One of HS2, between the West Midlands and London, will cut the journey time between Birmingham Airport and central London from 70 minutes to 38 minutes while also increasing the current two-hour catchment of 35m to 45m people.
This fits in with Birmingham Airport masterplan, which gets underway next month, that will see a £500m expansion to grow passenger numbers by 40% over the next 15 years, increasing its contribution to the local economy from £1.5bn BY 2033.
The new Interchange Station will be situated adjacent to Birmingham Airport, ‘allowing it to take an increasingly national role, helping to drive international trade, investment, employment, inbound tourism and the success of the region’s many universities’.
“The new HS2 station will act as a catalyst for the development and growth proposals for the area around the station – including new homes and jobs,” said Allan Cook, Chair of HS2 Ltd.
“We plan to work closely with the Airport and the Urban Growth Company to deliver improved connectivity that will in turn drive economic growth for both the West Midlands and the country.”
Approximately 9,000 jobs are currently supported by the delivery of HS2, with 300 apprentices on board and 2,000 businesses supporting the process – when construction peaks, it is estimated that HS2 will need more than 30,000 people to design and build the full HS2 rail network when it is built in the North.
“For us, it is important the airport continues to play a part in the development of the Midlands, acting as a catalyst for the continued growth of the region’s economy,” said
Tim Clarke, Chair of Birmingham Airport. “With a greater choice of flights and destinations, alongside improved regional connectivity and a direct link to HS2, we will do just this.”
HS2 says it will eventually link over 25 towns and cities from Scotland through to the South East, joining up nearly half of the UK population and is set to deliver £92bn of benefits to the UK economy.