Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP was in Nottingham this afternoon (November 30) to launch a study showing how UK economic productivity could be raised by the planned HS2 high speed rail network.
Following the publication of its Industrial Strategy report on Monday (November 27), today’s HS2 study expands on how the Government sees the high speed rail infrastructure project acting as a catalyst to improve productivity; by improving connectivity to and between major cities, including those in the Midlands such as Nottingham and Derby.
Productivity is a measurement of efficiency, of how much/many goods or services are produced for the amount of worktime/resources put into them. Today’s HS2: Getting the Best Out of Britain report claims lower UK productivity rates means on average it can take a UK worker five days to produce what an equivalent US, French or German worker produces in four.
This afternoon’s HS2 event at the Nottingham Contemporary Art Gallery, Nottingham city-centre, was attended by an invited audience of businesspeople – including D2N2 Local Enterprise Chief Executive David Ralph – senior local authority representatives, and other stakeholders.
Speakers pictured above, Right to Left (photo courtesy of Midlands Connect) were:
- Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport;
- Sir David Higgins, Chair of HS2 Ltd;
- Sir John Peace, Chair of the Midlands Engine and cross-region transport initiative Midlands Connect;
- Maria Machancoses, Director of Midlands Connect.
In the HS2 report out today, Sir David says: “The transport network around London has given the city easy access to the skills, products, professional services, and markets needed to succeed in the modern economy.
“But poorer connectivity between and within the Midlands and the North has made it more difficult for regional economies there to create that critical mass and realise their full potential.
“HS2 will play a critical role in correcting that imbalance, particularly as it is fully integrated with the strategies for both Northern Powerhouse Rail and Midlands Connect.”
Main points in the HS2 report deal with using the planned HS2 rail network for:
- creating opportunities for London businesses to relocate to, or expand into, locations outside the capital which are less expensive but still globally competitive;
- making the Midlands a more attractive location for overseas companies wanting to invest in Britain;
- reducing the time it takes for start-up businesses outside London to connect with investors, venture capitalists and mentors in the capital, so enabling them to develop long-term business relationships.
In July (2017) Government confirmed its preferred route for HS2’s ‘Phase 2b’ line, or ‘eastern leg’; proposed to run from the West Midlands, through Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire – between the large urban conurbations of Nottingham and Derby – through to Leeds. The line includes plans for an East Midlands’ ‘hub’ station at Toton, Nottinghamshire – set to be the network’s best connected point outside London – an HS2 maintenance depot at Staveley, north Derbyshire, and provision for HS2 classic compatible trains serving the current Chesterfield train station. It’s estimated this eastern leg would open fully in 2033, but local partners believe there’s potential to partially open the hub station at Toton by 2030.
The D2N2 LEP – the private sector-led Partnership promoting economic and jobs growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – is an active partner in the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board; a partnership of more than 20 of the region’s local authorities, businesses and Local Enterprise Partnerships, which promotes HS2 in the East Midlands.
The East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board submitted its East Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy: World Class-Locally Driven report to Government in September 2017, showing how the Phase 2b line through the area would be used to stimulate the economy. It details the opportunities HS2 presents to drive long term growth for the regional economy, equivalent to an additional 74,000 jobs and almost £4billion of GVA (Gross Value Added) by 2043, and how this could be achieved.
For more information on the HS2 high speed rail network see its website at www.gov.uk/government/organisations/high-speed-two-limited
To find out more about the work of the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board see web link www.emcouncils.gov.uk/HS2-Strategic-Board
Media wanting further information about the D2N2 LEP can contact Sean Kirby, D2N2 Communications Manager, on 0115 9578749 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org