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Birmingham becomes first council to capitalise on local HS2 impact

Plans to maximise the profits from the HS2 high-speed rail line have been unveiled by Birmingham City Council and Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP today.

The Curzon Investment Plan is a 30-year plan to create 36,000 jobs, 4,000 new homes and 600,000sqm of commercial floor space on the 141ha site around Curzon Street Station, where HS2 will stop.

The LEP will provide £586.8m for the plan, while the newly formed West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) will provide £137.2m.

Theresa May, the prime minister, welcomed the scheme, saying: “I’m delighted that Greater Birmingham is making this investment in the future, working to maximise the potential of HS2 by investing in jobs and housing – and encouraging more business investment.

“It was in Birmingham where I outlined my plan to build an economy that works for all, with a proper industrial strategy that delivers prosperity, job creation and higher wages across the country, not just in London.

“That’s what the Curzon Investment Plan aims to do in Greater Birmingham, and my government is right behind them.”

The plans include a new Curzon Promenade and Curzon Square, which will incorporate the original Curzon Station, a Grade 1 listed building.

In addition, the LEP and WMCA will provide £183.3m for Metro extensions to connect the east of Birmingham to the city centre, Birmingham International Airport and an HS2 interchange at Solihull.

The plans could generate as much as £1bn for the local area.

Steve Hollis, deputy chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, said: “The Curzon Investment Plan is the first major commitment by a local area to maximise the impact of HS2. It outlines how we will use HS2 as a trigger to transform an area of untapped potential in Birmingham’s city core and create thousands of new jobs, homes and places for businesses to thrive.

“This demonstrates clearly what we can achieve in this region by being given the right tools by central government, to unlock our own future economic success.

“Our commitment to invest is a bold statement of intent for how we will utilise HS2 as a catalyst for growth at every step. By setting out our plans and investing now, we will begin to realise the economic benefits of HS2 far sooner.”

Cllr John Clancy, leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “HS2 is a unique opportunity that we must capitalise on now. Birmingham is at the heart of the HS2 network and the Curzon Investment Plan shows how we intend to use this position to create sustained economic growth and a legacy of new homes, jobs and neighbourhoods for our city.”

(Image c. Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP)

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