HS2 delivers £1.7bn boost to West Midlands businesses, report reveals

Posted: 17 March 2023 | | No comments yet

A new report released by HS2 Ltd outlines the economic benefits delivered by Britian’s new high-speed rail project so far across the West Midlands.

First giant pier for the Curzon 3 Viaduct in Birmingham

First giant pier for the Curzon 3 Viaduct in Birmingham. Credit: HS2 Ltd

HS2 Ltd has released new figures today (17 March 2023) to show that over the last six years, 422 West Midlands companies have received a share of over £1.7 billion in contract awards, demonstrating how HS2’s construction is playing a vital role in the survival and growth of businesses across the region. The figures show to small- and medium-sized businesses based in the area are emerging as the biggest winners, with a 78% share of local contract awards.

In 2022 alone, the value of HS2 contracts awarded to local firms (£816 million) totalled almost twice the value of economic uplift delivered in the West Midlands by the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games (£453.7million).

HS2 is Britain’s new high-speed rail line being built from London to the North-West, with HS2 trains linking the biggest cities in Scotland with Manchester, Birmingham and London. It is the largest infrastructure project in Europe and the most important economic and social regeneration project in decades.

Making an impact and the West Midlands

“As soon as work started on Britain’s flagship infrastructure project, businesses in the West Midlands realised the enormity of HS2’s potential,” said Mark Thurston, CEO at HS2 Ltd. “Contracts worth millions helped to keep factories in production and thousands of jobs safe as the country fought the pandemic, and right now we’re supporting those feeling the cost-of-living pinch. “As today’s report shows, HS2’s transformational journey is already making an impact and the West Midlands is onboard and reaping the benefits.”


The positive effect of HS2’s construction is also being felt by local people working on the project, developing their careers, and accessing free training to upskill for new opportunities.

Over 8,800 people are supporting HS2’s construction in the area, with 729 local residents who were previously out of work are now in jobs, and 399 people have completed or are currently studying for an apprenticeship.

Balfour Beatty VINCI, HS2’s construction partner for the region, has already delivered over 81,000 hours of training to create the 7,000-strong highly skilled workforce it needs to fulfil a wide variety of on-site and office-based roles.

Construction progress

Construction is well underway on over 350 sites between London and the West Midlands. In this region, work is progressing to prepare for two state-of-the-art stations – Birmingham Curzon Street and Interchange, and Washwood Heath Depot – the maintenance facility and control centre for the whole HS2 network. HS2, its partners and suppliers are also boring tunnels, and building bridges and viaducts at key locations across the region.

“HS2 is a game changer”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “From the very outset of what is a landmark infrastructure project for the UK, I’ve believed in the transformative impact HS2 can bring about for our region. Whether it’s thousands of jobs for local people, improved prospects for our local businesses right the way through the supply chain or indeed enhanced connectivity for decades to come, HS2 is a game changer. We must steer a course through any temporary turbulence – inevitable from time to time given cost and political pressures – which is why I’m glad to see the government redouble its commitment to a scheme which will deliver for the people of the West Midlands and indeed for the UK as a whole.”


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