Business Monthly: ‘Make ruddy mind up’ on HS2 site

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Sheffield LEP’s fence-sitting on the HS2 station site sparked the ire of a Midlands business leader - in the strongest terms.

Peter Richardson, chairman of the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, urged Sheffield to “make your ruddy mind up” over HS2, warning that any delay “looks like you’re not interested.”

Mr Richardson said his LEP was “challenged” by Sheffield’s “inability to determine where it wants the station.”

It could delay building their station at Toton, on the border of the two counties, and hit economic growth in the East Midlands, he added.

Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership has never stated a preference between Meadowhall - the Government’s choice - and Sheffield city centre.

Mr Richardson told a business audience in Derby: “When we are dealing in a political environment, any delay looks like you are not interested in it. We are challenged right now around HS2 by Sheffield’s inability to determine where it wants the station for HS2.

“If Sheffield can’t get its act together, that has a real impact on whether Toton will be sooner rather than later.

“It’s really important when we are talking to our friends in Sheffield that we say, ‘Make your ruddy mind up – get real.”