News - 23 February 2017

HS2 First Phase gains Royal Assent

The news that the largest national construction and infrastructure project of a lifetime has now gained Royal Assent, has been welcomed by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The first phase of HS2 – the planned high-speed rail network which will improve transport links between London, the Midlands and the North – has today (Feb 23) been given Royal Assent, meaning that construction on the first phase from London to Birmingham can now begin.

The second phase of HS2, which will link Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds, will have a route passing through the D2N2 area of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire; including an East Midlands rail hub at Toton (an artist’s impression of which is pictured) and a maintenance depot at Staveley. The D2N2 LEP, which works to grow the economies of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, is championing the project as part of the HS2 Strategic Board for the East Midlands and is also a member of Midlands Connect – which works to highlight transport and infrastructure opportunities across the East and West Midlands.

The first phase of HS2, set to be finished by 2026, aims to put Birmingham City Centre and International Airport within 45 minutes of London. The second phase of HS2 – set to be completed by 2033 – will consist of a western leg to Manchester and Crewe and an Eastern Leg from the West Midlands to Leeds (passing through the D2N2 area. It is estimated that this will put the D2N2 area within an hour of London, 20 minutes of Birmingham and half an hour from Leeds. This increased connectivity, along with the jobs directly created from HS2 construction work, will provide a significant boost to the D2N2 economy.

More than 30 representatives from the region’s local authorities, businesses and Local Enterprise Partnerships – including D2N2 – make up an East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board; to ensure the area reaps the maximum employment, skills, economic and development benefits associated with the eastern leg route’s development. The Board is chaired by Nottingham City Council Leader, Councillor Jon Collins. It published a report in September 2016 called ‘Fast Track to Growth’, setting out initial proposals to use HS2 to generate an additional estimated 74,000 jobs and £4 billion of economic growth across the East Midlands. 

David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “HS2 is a once in a lifetime opportunity for D2N2 businesses, particularly those in the rail industry who may look to secure future contracts. The fact that the first phase of this project has now been granted Royal Assent shows that Government recognises the jobs, economic growth and connectivity benefits which the high-speed rail network will bring to the country, the Midlands and the D2N2 area.”

Sir John Peace, Chair of Midlands Connect, added: “HS2 Royal Assent marks a momentous day, both for the Midlands and the UK.

“It’s proof that the Government is serious about rebalancing the country’s economy by investing in the regions.

“We have already seen investment, growth and other signs of economic optimism arising from just the prospect of HS2; and record numbers of businesses and investors are interested in the region, in part due to the transformational nature of HS2.

“The Midlands is now at the heart of the UK’s most ambitious infrastructure project. Today’s announcement provides us with the opportunity to accelerate our plans for growth in the region and it provides investors with the certainty they need to make the investment decisions we need.”

For more information on HS2, visit its website at

For more information on the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board, visit

For More Information on the above release, please contact:

Sean Kirby

D2N2 Communications Manager

0115 957 8749

 D2N2 logo CMYK

Sam Burbage

D2N2 Social Media and Marketing Officer

0115 957 8254

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