UK: HS2 Headquarters Open in Birmingham
Image courtesy of UK Department for Transport
The UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin opened HS2 Ltd’s new Headquarters in Birmingham on 4 February 2016, where the project will employ up to 1,000 staff. The opening comes as the final petitions asking for changes were heard in the House of Commons.
The offices, situated in Birmingham’s Colmore Business District, will house engineers, designers and procurement specialists, among others. The opening comes as petitions against the HS2 Phase One hybrid Bill are being put before the House of Commons Select Committee.
This is the final stage of passing the Bill into legislation, which will obtain planning permission for the route of the Phase One of the High Speed 2 (HS2) between London and Birmingham. The HS2 Phase One hybrid Bill will likely receive Royal Assent in December 2016, with construction to begin in 2017.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
“HS2 will rebalance our economy, helping make the Midlands an ‘engine for growth’. The official opening of the headquarters here in Birmingham is proof that HS2 is already boosting jobs and skills, and will continue to do so as we head towards construction.
“This week we have taken another step towards putting spades in the ground as the Commons Select Committee has been hearing the final petitions on the Phase One Bill. I would like to pay tribute to members of the Committee, as well as those who have brought forward petitions. We have listened to residents and communities and I am pleased that in many cases we have been able to make the changes they have been calling for.”
Birmingham will also host HS2 stations at Curzon Street and Birmingham Interchange when Phase One begins running in 2026. The line is expected to extend north to begin running services to Crewe in 2027, and to Leeds and Manchester in 2033.
The construction of the line between London and Birmingham will create 14,600 construction jobs, 2,200 permanent operations and maintenance jobs, and is hoped to enable the creation of 30,300 around HS2 stations in London and Birmingham.
HS2 Ltd Chairman Sir David Higgins, said:
“The arrival of HS2 in Birmingham will play a vital role in boosting jobs, skills, economic growth and regeneration across the city. Britain’s second city is at the heart of the HS2 network and I am delighted that the Secretary of State has today officially opened our headquarters at 2 Snowhill, as the project moves towards construction.
“I am proud HS2 has chosen Birmingham as its future home to house up to 1,000 staff to deliver the largest infrastructure project Britain has seen for decades. The petitioning process gives those affected by HS2 the opportunity to raise issues and voice concerns about the plans for the route between the West Midlands and London. Over the last 17 months, the HS2 Commons Select Committee, chaired by Robert Syms MP, has heard almost 2,600 petitions, many of which have led to changes to the Bill. This will ensure that HS2 is designed in the best way possible.”