Increased rail capacity promises a great future for the Midlands

Midlands Development HS2

We attended the Built Environment Networking’s inaugural Midlands Development Conference last week. With some great speakers, including Lord Bob Kerslake and Birmingham City Council CEO, Dawn Baxendale, our team from our Birmingham office came away excited about what the future holds.

The message around HS2 was not one of a fast train as the name would suggest but of increased capacity. Up to 18 trains an hour connecting the Midlands with the south east will open up new opportunities for everyone living and working across the region. And with this new found capacity, comes new development:

  • 51,000 additional homes
  • 253ha of employment land
  • 100,000 new jobs
  • £4 billion infrastructure investment

With six stations across the Midlands, HS2 is opening up the connectivity of whole towns and areas. The East Midlands hub station at Toton will be one of the most connected places in the UK. Up to 14 high speed trains an hour will leave Toton. Midlands Connect has plans to connect the hub to major centres in the region including Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and East Midlands Airport. This includes proposals for the hub station to link to the existing motorway, as well as the classic rail and tram networks. Derby and Nottingham are working together on an ambition that envisages a journey time of just 10 minutes from their city centres to the HS2 hub, better linking the two cities in the process.

And the interchange plans for Solihull are equally exciting. The new Interchange Station will not only offer the opportunity to provide rail services to Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region, it will also catalyse economic growth in the area immediately adjacent to Birmingham Airport and the NEC, known as the UK Central Hub.

The event was a buoyant affair, bringing together like minded developers, consultants, public and private sector, to champion the Midlands and the exciting developments ahead.

Here at Woods Hardwick, we can’t wait to get involved and help focus the UK’s attentions on the Midlands – creating new homes, jobs and opportunities for everyone in the area.