Leeds City Region leaders & business representatives discuss maximising HS2's impact with minister

Leeds City Region leaders & business representatives discuss maximising HS2's impact with minister

Leaders and business representatives have set out the case for investment in the Leeds City Region to maximise the impact of HS2 in a meeting with Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani.

Ms Ghani discussed the region's ambitious plan to use HS2 as the catalyst to create thousands of jobs in a meeting with Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the Combined Authority Transport Committee.

Jobs

The City Region's HS2 Growth Strategy sets out how 300,000 jobs can be created through improved transport connections via a remodelled Leeds station, acceleration of regeneration schemes, inspiring a new generation of engineers, becoming a centre of excellence in light and high speed rail skills and attracting inward investment.

Following the meeting, Ms Ghani took part in a discussion with business representatives organised by the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.

Regeneration

Topics discussed at the roundtable, hosted by Deloitte, included apprenticeships, regeneration and the support HS2 could give to the financial services sector.

Cllr Blake said: "HS2 could be transformative for Leeds and the wider City Region but to maximise the impact we need the right Government support, including for the remodelling of Leeds station. I am glad the Minister was able to visit the region and see the opportunity for herself."

Cllr Hinchcliffe said: "This was a good opportunity to set out to the Minister the scale of our ambitions to create an economy that delivers inclusive growth benefiting all our communities in the City Region through accelerated regeneration, access to opportunity and improved skills and the pivotal role HS2 can play in that."

Cllr Groves said: "We are determined that HS2 will bring benefits right across the City Region through integration with Northern Powerhouse Rail, regional rail services and fast, reliable, local transport connections and we set out that case strongly at our meeting."

HS2 Minister Nusrat Ghani said: "HS2 will deliver better connections and improved journeys for passengers in Yorkshire, with the UK's brand new railway set to double the number of seats and services at peak time at Leeds station.

It will also act as a catalyst for economic growth and prosperity, with the potential to support thousands of jobs across the city. With businesses in Leeds already winning contracts with HS2 and a brand new rolling stock depot east of the city set to create skilled jobs, we are committed to working with partners to ensure Yorkshire seizes the benefits on offer."

Gerald Jennings, Chair of the West & North Yorkshire Chamber, said: "HS2 along with Northern Powerhouse Rail will provide significant connectivity into and out of our region, in turn helping businesses tap into the widest pool of available talent. Access to skills is consistently flagged as the biggest concern from businesses in our region and it is essential we get this right now for future generations.

High speed rail also needs to be complemented by incremental improvements to the existing rail network to ensure local connectivity is fit for purpose. Leeds has hugely ambitious plans to redevelop the station, which is already acting as a catalyst for investment."

Find out more about the Leeds City Region HS2 Growth Strategy.