High speed rail route HS2 could bring 74,000 jobs and almost £4billion to the region’s economy by 2043, a new report has claimed.
The East Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy details the opportunities HS2 presents to drive long-term growth for the area - and how this could be achieved.
It has been produced by a partnership of the region’s local authorities, businesses and local enterprise partnerships, including Derbyshire County Council and the East Midlands Chamber.
Councillor Simon Spencer, Derbyshire County Council cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure and vice-chairman of the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board, said: “HS2 will bring more jobs and business opportunities to Derbyshire, as well as massive potential for the county’s tourism industry.
“We believe the best deal for Derbyshire residents will be achieved by working with the Government, to maximise the economic benefits and minimise the adverse impacts of the scheme.”
In July, the Government confirmed its preferred route for HS2’s ‘Phase 2b’ line, or ‘eastern leg’, part of which will travel through Derbyshire.
HS2 will bring more jobs and businesses to Derbyshire.Simon Spencer
The line includes plans for a HS2 maintenance depot at Staveley and provision for HS2 compatible trains serving the current Chesterfield train station.
Scott Knowles, chief executive at East Midlands Chamber, said: “HS2 is the single biggest transport infrastructure project in a generation, and represents a huge opportunity for businesses across the East Midlands and beyond.
“It has the potential to be truly transformational, much more than just a new railway.
“It will be a catalyst that drives regeneration along its entire route and leads to wider infrastructure investment, it will utilise the skills available in the world’s greatest cluster of rail-related businesses in Derby, and create opportunities to make sure those skills and new ones will pass to the next generation.
“It will bring together a raft of different partners as they work together to maximise the opportunities of HS2, both during construction and for decades afterwards.”
Despite this, many in the region remain vehemently opposed to the £50bn project, saying its impact on the communities and environment along the route are too great.
Residents of the small Derbyshire village of Newton say their community will be ‘cut in two’ by the track and two ancient woodlands are set to be completely destroyed.