Birmingham’s construction sector received a massive boost today with news that the headquarters for the HS2 development will be located there, creating 1,500 construction and engineering jobs.
The new HQ will start operating in Birmingham next year, representing the biggest ever public sector relocation to the city. The new HQ staff will look after track works, station construction and signalling installation and commissioning. More construction and engineering jobs are expected to be created in Birmingham as the supply chain shifts to be near what will the biggest client for the industry for a number of years.
At the same time the city launched an urban regeneration company to promote redevelopment around the proposed new HS2 terminus in the Curzon Street area, aiming to create around 14,000 jobs and boosting the local economy by up to £1.3Bn.
The Birmingham Curzon Regeneration Company will provide the same sort of focus that ensured successful developments like the London 2012 Olympics and Canary Wharf. The Curzon area development will create 600,000 sq m of offices and shops floorspace as well as 2,000 homes on an area of 140 hectares.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin was to make the HS2 announcement on a visit to Birmingham today and he was also to announce a £130M scheme to extend the Midland Metro to Adderley Street in Eastside. This brings tram services into the heart of the Curzon area and will link HS2 directly to the local transport system.
Mr McLoughlin said: “HS2 is a vital part of our long-term economic plan. By locating the new HS2 engineering HQ in Birmingham, we are bringing skilled job opportunities into the area, spreading HS2′s benefits beyond those using the new rail line.
“It is great news that Birmingham City Council has created a company specifically to focus on the regeneration opportunities created by HS2. It will bring new investment and work into the city, helping secure the future prosperity of the region and the country.”