HS2 Ltd, the company constructing Britain’s new high speed railway, has opened an office in Manchester. As work steps up to extend HS2 to both Leeds and Manchester, this reinforces HS2’s commitment to work with partners, including Transport for the North, in order to enable Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) services.
The company relocated its headquarters from London to the Midlands three years ago, and has now established a new base in Manchester city centre for its core team in the North.
Mark Thurston, HS2 Ltd CEO said:
“HS2 is crucial to delivering Transport for the North’s ambitions for Northern Powerhouse Rail. By having a new base in Manchester we are able to work closer with our Northern partners. Together, HS2 and NPR will enable faster, more frequent and reliable services throughout the North.
“The spare capacity released on the northern sections of the HS2 network will enable future NPR services, so the two projects work seamlessly to maximise the benefits of the UK’s investment in future rail. With towns and cities set to benefit across the North, HS2 will transform rail journeys and give passengers thousands of extra seats every day.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham added:
“HS2 will not only improve our railways from North to South but will also lay the foundations for the east to west rail links across the North that we desperately need. HS2, linked with east to west Northern Powerhouse Rail, will make it easier for people to move between our towns and cities, help businesses connect with each other and their customers, and act as a catalyst for local growth. With new high speed rail connections, the economic output of Greater Manchester could double to around £132bn by 2050, contributing around 40,000 new jobs.
“HS2 Ltd’s decision to open an office in Manchester is a real statement of intent. I look forward to working with HS2 to ensure the North gets the maximum benefit from the better connections and released capacity that HS2 and NPR will deliver.”
Work on the first phase of HS2 from London to the Midlands is already underway at over 250 locations. Over 7,000 jobs and 300 apprenticeships are already supported by the programme, and around 2,000 business have delivered work on HS2. When construction peaks, it is estimated that HS2 will need 30,000 people to design and build the full HS2 rail network.
Hundreds of businesses in the North have already won work, and opportunities for local firms to get involved will continue as the project progresses.
Across the North, HS2 station locations have been preparing for the arrival of the new railway by drawing up economic plans to take advantage of better rail connections. The redevelopment plans for Manchester have the potential to deliver 40,000 new jobs for the city with both HS2 and NPR working together.
HS2 trains will serve over 25 towns and cities from Scotland through to the South East, joining up nearly half of the UK population, giving people more options on where to live, work and travel. It is set to deliver £92bn of benefits to the UK economy.