Plans to transform Birmingham International Station into a major transport hub have taken a significant step forward after Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council’s cabinet agreed to submit a business case worth £286m to government.
The business case details the opportunity to create a multi-modal hub bringing together future high speed rail, existing rail, air, trams, buses, private vehicles, taxis and bicycles through seamless connections to Birmingham Airport and the new HS2 Interchange Station by 2025.
It follows an 18-month feasibility study led by the Urban Growth Company (UGC), a special-delivery vehicle set up by Solihull Council in 2016 to deliver infrastructure and development across The Hub site, near Junction 6 of the M42 in Solihull.
The study was 50% co-financed from a €875,000 grant awarded by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility, with balance of funding provided by West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), Birmingham Airport and NEC Group.
Other partners included Transport for West Midlands, Network Rail, HS2 Ltd, Birmingham City Council and Virgin Trains.
The business case will now be submitted to the WMCA and the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) in order to secure funding to progress the project to design stage and delivery.
Nick Brown, chairman of the Urban Growth Company, explained the importance of the project:
“Since Birmingham International Station opened in the 1970s, passenger numbers have exceeded all expectations. We now have a scenario where there simply isn’t enough capacity and the passenger experience could be so much better.
“With the HS2 Interchange Station on its way, major growth at Birmingham Airport and the NEC, and nearby Jaguar Land Rover going from strength-to-strength, passenger numbers at Birmingham International Station are forecast to triple over the next 20 years. It has the potential to be one of the busiest stations in the UK but without this transformation it will be a major barrier to sustainable economic growth here in Solihull, and that will impact on the wider West Midlands.”
Councillor Ian Courts, Deputy Leader of Solihull Council and Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Managed Growth said:
“This project is critical as it will create an iconic gateway to the West Midlands with sustainable, resilient transport connections.
“It will also accelerate the delivery of development in this area, helping attract new businesses, creating 2,500 new jobs and generating £145m GVA (gross value added), putting Solihull at the heart of this region’s economic renaissance.”
The UGC will continue working with regional and central government to secure funding from a range of national and local sources to deliver the project by December 2025.
The Urban Growth Company’s Growth & Infrastructure Plan has predicted that The Hub, which includes a transformed Birmingham International Station, has the wider potential to create up to 77,500 new jobs, 775,000 sq m of commercial space and £4.1bn GVA per year.
Original article © Urban Growth Company.
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