Boards. Funding. Place Projects - 09 March 2016

£300,000 approved by D2N2 LEP for studies into HS2 rail benefits

A £300,000 grant through the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership will aid feasibility studies looking at proposed HS2 sites in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, and how they can best benefit the local economy.

Phase Two of the planned national high speed railway, HS2, will create a track running up from the West Midlands, before splitting into western (towards the North-West) and eastern lines. The eastern line will pass through the D2N2 area; with a proposed East Midlands ‘hub’ at Toton and a major maintenance depot at Staveley, near Chesterfield, before the track continues to Sheffield and the North-East.

The Phase Two route is due to be confirmed by Government this autumn (2016). Trains would not operate on it until 2033 at the earliest, on the current project timetable.

D2N2 has approved funding for feasibility studies looking at both the Toton and Staveley HS2 plans, to see how the maximum economic benefit could be gained for the area from this national rail project.

A £45,000 grant will fund research into the Staveley maintenance depot; which will be responsible for maintaining tracks, bridges, tunnels, signalling and overhead power supply for HS2’s entire eastern line (Birmingham to Leeds). It’s estimated the site could support around 540 jobs directly and a further 700 indirectly, through supply chains.

The work (consultants for which have yet to be selected) will:

  • help develop the wider HS2 masterplan, particularly its wider regeneration ambitions;
  • identify the road links which the depot will need to connect it to the local area;
  • alongside education providers, promote the case for a local rail training facility to act as a secondary site linked to the proposed HS2 College campuses at Birmingham and Doncaster;
  • increase awareness among north-east Derbyshire businesses of the opportunities HS2 represents.

The remaining D2N2 study funding will be used to look into the feasibility of creating links to roads and Nottingham’s tram network, which would connect the proposed East Midlands hub at Toton with other important sites, to provide a more integrated transport network for passengers. This will include:

  • the feasibility of NET tram extensions to Toton’s HS2 station and beyond (study to be led by Nottingham City Council’s NET tram team);
  • updating of the traffic model for the hub area (to be led by Highways England);
  • a study looking into tram-train links (to be led by Network Rail and Nottingham City Council’s NET tram team).

David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, (pictured) said: “Our Infrastructure and Investment Board members set aside funds for feasibility studies some time ago, realising that where there is a chance for significant economic gain, investment in further study would be needed.

“The HS2 project represents an enormous opportunity for the D2N2 LEP area. We want to make sure we’ve investigated any practical means of taking full advantage of that, to grow the economy and create jobs.”

In his Comprehensive Spending Review last November (2015), Chancellor George Osborne awarded £1.25million to the D2N2 LEP, to develop a growth strategy for the proposed HS2 hub at Toton. In his previous July Budget, the Chancellor had agreed £5million to develop Midlands Connect – the cross-region co-operation between Midlands’ LEPs, local authorities and businesses – to integrate the region’s transport networks, which will also include work on HS2 development.

For more information about the HS2 national project see website www.gov.uk/government/organisations/high-speed-two-limited

To learn more about what the work of the D2N2 LEP see its website at www.d2n2lep.org

For further information about this news release contact D2N2 LEP Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 9578749 or email: sean.kirby@d2n2lep.org

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