Connecting our great cities of the North with a world-class, higher capacity rail network is not only fundamental to the success of the Northern Powerhouse, it is fundamental to the success of the entire country.
HS2 Phase Two will extend the benefits of this vital piece of infrastructure to more than 25 million people – over a third of the UK’s population – across the Midlands, The North and Scotland.
These people and places must not be denied the job and growth opportunities that HS2 brings. It must continue beyond Birmingham. Our support must not flounder or stall. We must unite to deliver HS2 in full, and we urge you to join us by offering your vocal and unwavering support. Making HS2 happen will help ensure the UK fulfils its potential.
To our next potential Prime Minister we say – back it, build it, benefit from it.
HS2 Phase One, connecting London to the West Midlands, received Royal Assent in 2017 and construction is beginning. It’s led to record levels of Foreign Direct Investment in to the West Midlands, with more than 7,000 new jobs created in Birmingham as a direct result of HS2, and over 100,000 more expected around the new Curzon Street and Interchange stations.
We assert that committing to HS2 in full, once and for all, will spread the flow of investment across the Midlands, the North of England and into Scotland. The current poor connectivity in the North is a major obstacle to encouraging companies from growing in the region and is a barrier to inward investment. According to Transport for the North (TfN), fewer than 10,000 people in the North can access four or more of the North’s largest economic centres within an hour. This has to change.
The Northern Powerhouse is facing a power shortage and it must be rectified as a matter of urgency.
We urge the next Prime Minister and government to re-state its commitment to Northern Powerhouse Rail, and its links to HS2, as a matter of urgent priority. The businesses we represent are happy to provide evidence for any review, and this letter is testament to the strength of feeling among firms large and small.
We are passionate believers that this is not just a Northern issue, it is a UK issue. We should move away from arguments that pit Crossrail 2 in London versus Northern Powerhouse Rail; both schemes are vital for Britain’s future. It’s not an either/or choice. Britain needs both.
Beckie Hart, Yorkshire & Humber, CBI Regional Director Sarah Glendinning, North East, CBI Regional Director Damian Waters, North West, CBI Regional Director Jonathan Geldart, Institute of Directors (IoD) Chair, Yorkshire and North East Region
David Holdsworth, IoD Branch Chair, Liverpool City Region
Gerald Jennings, Chair, West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
Miranda Barker, Chief Executive, East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
Chris Manka, Regional Chairman, North West Federation of Small Business (FSB)
Pat Coyle, IoD Branch Chair, East Yorkshire
Daniel Fell, Chief Executive Officer, Doncaster Chamber Bill Addy, Chief Executive, Liverpool Business Improvement District (BID), Co Chair Northern BIDS group & Chair of The BID Foundation
Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations, Sunderland BID
Natalie Sykes, IoD Regional Director, Yorkshire & North East
June Smith, Regional Director (North), MakeUK
Jonny Noble, Bradford BID manager
James Ramsbotham, North East Chamber of Commerce Jane Reynolds, Tees Valley Business Club
Paul Colman, Chief Executive, South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce
Michael McMeekin, FSB area lead for the North East James Ramsbotham,
Gillian Marshall, Chief Executive, Entrepreneurs Forum,
Richard Askew, Policy Representative, FSB South Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and The Humber
Jasmine Whitbread, Chief Executive, London First