HS2 is ‘vital’ for economic boost

Coun Julie Dore, Sheffield Council leader and Labour member for Arbourthorne.
Coun Julie Dore, Sheffield Council leader and Labour member for Arbourthorne.
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Sheffield could become a ‘global leader’ thanks to a high-speed rail link, creating jobs and growth, a new report claims.

And Coun Julie Dore, Sheffield Council leader, has stressed the ‘vital’ need to harness the HS2 project’s potential for spurring growth as the Growth Taskforce report outlines plans to ensure cities along the route wring maximum benefit from the scheme.

HS2 is a plan to build a new high-speed rail link from London to the north, serving Sheffield.

Coun Dore said: “If done properly, high-speed rail stations can be a catalyst for growth.

“It is important we make the right decisions now so the whole of the UK can benefit from what is undoubtedly a unique opportunity for the country’s growth.

“The real debate now is ‘how do we take best advantage of HS2’.

“The taskforce report makes recommendations on how the current proposals can be improved to maximise economic growth.

“It is vital we do all we can to harness growth potential so that together we can create jobs and opportunities for people and businesses across the UK.”

The taskforce’s recommendations include creating new local bodies to come up with ‘tailored growth plans’ for cities along the route, kick-starting urban regeneration and ensuring contracts for British firms which deliver jobs and apprenticeships.

It is now calling on the government for action to maximise HS2’s impact.

The announcement follows another report which stated HS2’s second phase could be delivered three years early, in 2030.

The report states: “HS2 presents an unparalleled opportunity to develop cities along its route.

“This isn’t straightforward to achieve and there are examples of both successful and failing efforts to create the right conditions for local growth.

“We want to learn from this to make sure HS2 galvanises local development and succeeds where others may have failed.”