Business leaders claim a controversial high speed rail link could be worth billions to the area’s economy and vastly improve connectivity.
Following the launch of a report into the expected effects of HS2 on the economy entitled ‘HS2: Getting the best out of Britain’, East Midlands Chamber has welcomed the rail link and the prosperity it claims it will bring to the area.
Chief executive Scott Knowles said: “HS2 will open up whole new areas and opportunities for growth, improving productivity through easier and greater collaboration with partners to the North and West of us than we have today.
“Independent research has shown that HS2 Phase Two will create about 74,000 jobs during and post-construction and be worth about £4billion gross value added to the East Midlands and South Yorkshire within ten years of services starting.
“With a station hub planned for Toton, between Nottingham and Derby, service stops at Chesterfield and Sheffield and a maintenance depot at Staveley, the opportunities presented by HS2 for this region, through the changing faces of competition, are enormous and we should be looking now at how best to capitalise on them and how to encourage businesses of all sizes to be part of it.”
The report, which draws from evidence from more than 100 employers, local authorities and universities, shows that cities and regions in the midlands and north account for 32 per cent of the UK’s research staff working in universities with high quality research, compared to 35 per cent in London and the south east. It goes onto say that businesses and regional bodies in the East Midlands claim improved connectivity will drive productivity growth across much of the UK and help close to the gap between the best and worst performing regions.
David Higgins, Chairman of HS2 Ltd said: “This report is the evidence that HS2 will boost productivity in the North and Midlands.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to join up and amplify the many centres of excellence around the country, as we prepare to exit the European Union.
“By improving the connectivity between our major population centres, HS2 will give businesses access to the skills, labour and services they need to change the economic geography of the country.”
HS2 will serve around 30million people and directly serve 25 stations.