Senior figures from business, academia and local government have joined the HS2 Growth Taskforce, to drive economic growth create new jobs in the trades.
The independent expert group was set up last month to maximise the economic benefits – including job creation – generated by the flagship rail project and is chaired by Commercial Secretary and former LOCOG boss Lord Deighton.
The government believes HS2 will be a key driver of jobs and growth. Independent analysis commissioned by Greengauge 21 predicts that HS2 is capable of generating up to 22,000 jobs in the next 5 years, rising to a maximum of 50,000 jobs by the late 2020s.
Commercial Secretary to the Treasury Lord Deighton said: “HS2 presents a massive opportunity to boost growth in regions across the UK and it’s vital that we talk to business leaders, public sector organisations, local government and the public about how we maximise the benefit to the whole of the country.
“I am delighted to have such a skilled team working with me on the HS2 taskforce. They know the huge benefits large scale infrastructure projects can bring if they are done in the right way.
“I am confident that together we have the right blend of experience and expertise to make sure HS2 delivers its full potential in terms of jobs and growth.”
HS2 Ltd Commercial Director Beth West said: “We welcome the appointment of the members of the HS2 Growth Taskforce. We look forward to hearing their thoughts and value their expertise to help us deliver the maximum payback from the investment in HS2.
Their collective knowledge will further strengthen our ability to make HS2 a catalyst for Britain’s future prosperity, supporting economic growth and assisting towns and cities to deliver regeneration, skills and jobs”.
The taskforce will seek to learn from and build on the success of Crossrail’s supply chain, where billions of pounds of contracts have been awarded across the UK from Falmouth to Inverness. Looking at British and international experiences of driving growth from major infrastructure investments, the taskforce will set out options and make recommendations on:
- maximising regional and national growth opportunities
- getting British industry and the UK workforce ready to respond to the vast array of opportunities HS2 will provide – 70% of jobs created by HS2 are expected to be outside London
- ensuring HS2 delivers as a catalyst for economic growth and regeneration around the stations and surrounding communities
- ensuring job opportunities from HS2 can be maximised and advising what contribution HS2 can make to the skills and training agenda
- maximising the potential to use the buying power of HS2 to improve supply chains and manufacturing capacity across the UK.
It will also engage heavily with the core cities and local enterprise partnerships to ensure the benefits of HS2 are felt far beyond the station cities.