Independent expert group meeting council leaders and representatives from businesses and universities to discuss the opportunities HS2 will bring.
Key figures from across Yorkshire are meeting the HS2 Growth Taskforce in Leeds today to discuss how the region can maximise the benefits of high-speed rail.
Along with electrification projects and the completion of Network Rail’s Northern Hub, HS2 is set to play a key role in job creation, regeneration and development across the county. This improved connectivity is forecast to unlock enormous potential and opportunities across Yorkshire.
Research by Metro and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive has shown that HS2 could deliver 13,200 jobs in the Leeds City Region and 5,000 in Sheffield City Region. Research published recently by KPMG showed that HS2 could boost productivity in West Yorkshire by £1bn per year within five years of the railway opening.
In addition, HS2 would free up capacity on the existing railway and offer opportunities for integration between high-speed and classic lines for additional passengers and freight trains. This could represent an additional £300m to £800m of benefits for the two City Regions.
Read the research summary - (pdf file opens in new window 8916K)
Commercial Secretary to the Treasury and Chair of the HS2 Growth Taskforce Lord Deighton said, “HS2 will give a massive boost to Yorkshire, creating new employment and business opportunities, freeing up capacity on the railways and improving connections. An estimated 70% of jobs from HS2 are expected to be outside the capital, which is why it is so vital that the Growth Taskforce meets with city and business leaders from across the country.
“Britain cannot afford to leave the economic future of the North to an overcrowded, 200 year old railway. But we don’t have to wait to feel the benefits; the Growth Taskforce is supporting regions to act now so the rewards can be felt long before the railway opens.
“It is vital that Yorkshire does everything possible to maximise the benefits that the new north-south line offers.”
Taskforce member and Chair of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Roger Marsh said, “We are determined to squeeze out every possible benefit from HS2 for Leeds and the wider city region, so I am very pleased to welcome the Growth Taskforce to the city.
“Whilst HS2 is a vital game changer for Britain as a whole, it will also provide a wealth of lasting opportunities for us regionally. Our businesses will be better able to compete on the global stage and our economy will get a boost from the creation of jobs. That said, enhanced connectivity to and from Yorkshire also requires significant improvements across the City Region to maximise the economic return, locally and nationally.
“This is a must-have opportunity and we are determined to seize it with both hands.”
The HS2 Growth Taskforce is an independent expert group comprising senior business, academia and local government representatives. In its initial report, published in October 2013, the Taskforce set out challenges for Government and city leaders with Lord Deighton calling on towns and cities across the country to act now to become 'HS2 ready'.
While in Leeds, Lord Deighton will meet with local council leaders and representatives from businesses and universities to discuss the opportunities HS2 will bring.
Metro Chairman, Cllr James Lewis, who is attending the meeting, said, “I am pleased to see that Lord Deighton has recognised the need for HS2-readiness which we have been stressing since the route of the new line was announced.
“I look forward to hearing what Lord Deighton and the Government will be doing to ensure West Yorkshire gets the additional investment it needs in its existing road and rail networks to ensure that the maximum levels of benefits and jobs can be generated with the arrival of HS2.”