The Mayor of the West Midlands has welcomed today's announcement by the Government confirming the routes of HS2 in the north-west, East Midlands and Yorkshire.
Andy Street said the decision, which will mean new connections between Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and the East Midlands - with all of them being linked to London by the line - meant huge opportunities for the West Midlands.
It is set to bring a massive economic boost for the north and the Midlands by increasing productivity and creating new business opportunities.
How the high speed rail network will look.
The Mayor said: “Today’s announcements from the Transport Secretary are, first and foremost, important reinforcements of the Government's commitment to the transformational HS2 project.
“With the West Midlands at the heart of the HS2 network, its effects and the huge opportunities it brings are already becoming apparent across the region.
"Not only are property developers already making their moves, but we’re working closely with our businesses to ensure they are ready to benefit from the contracts awarded today to the winning consortia.
"The confirmation that the West Midlands will be brought closer to key cities in the north thanks to today’s news about Phase 2 of the project will further strengthen the region’s connectivity offer, creating a huge economic boost.
“It is vital as a region that we work hard to ensure the investment has the maximum benefit locally, not just for businesses but for our people through projects like the National College for High Speed Rail.”
The Transport Secretary also announced the decision to award the first stage of £6.6 billion worth of new contracts today – supporting 16,000 jobs across the country.
An upcoming bill for the section from the West Midlands to Crewe will effectively act as a planning application, with the line expected to open in 2027 if approved by Parliament.
The government remains on track to open the link from London to Birmingham in 2026, the route to Crewe in 2027 and the routes to the East Midlands, Yorkshire and Manchester in 2033.
Preparatory work on Phase One has already commenced, with major construction starting in 2018 to 2019.
For more details about today's anouncement go to https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-transport