MPs in top level talks to save factories from HS2

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HOPES of moving the HS2 high-speed rail link so that it misses three major plants at Meadowhall have been raised following a meeting between Sheffield MPs and Transport Minister Simon Burns.

City Labour MPs David Blunkett, Clive Betts and Angela Smith have held talks in Whitehall with Mr Burns and senior civil servants.

Factories and land owned by Firth Rixson, Outokumpu and Pressure Technologies all lie on the initial route of the high-speed rail line from London to Yorkshire, which is due to start being built in 2017.

“HS2 runs right through our constituencies and these firms won’t have major problems as long as we can get them to move the line a little bit,” Mr Blunkett told The Star, revealing that he had also held talks with HS2.

“We want to solve any problems before the final version of the plan comes out. No one wants these firms’ order books to be affected by customers thinking they are going to have to move.

“I think the Minister and his civil servants get the message. They understand that they have to get this right.”

Firth Rixson is a leading manufacturer of safety critical components for the aerospace, defence, power generation off-highway and commercial vehicles and mining exploration sectors, while Finnish firm Outokumpu is the world’s largest producer of stainless steel, whose UK plant is based off Shepcote Lane.

Meanwhile, Meadowhall-based Pressure Technologies is a leading global designer and manufacturer of specialised engineering equipment for high pressure systems. HOPES of moving the HS2 high-speed rail link so that it misses three major plants at Meadowhall have been raised following a meeting between Sheffield MPs and Transport Minister Simon Burns.