I would like to update the House on the progress of High Speed Two.
As part of this Government’s industrial strategy we are investing in High Speed 2, a transformational infrastructure project that will improve people’s journeys, create jobs, generate economic growth and help to rebalance our country’s economy. HS2 is more than a railway and the project’s vision is to be a catalyst for economic growth. It has cross-party support and support from councils, LEPs, Metro Mayors and businesses who can see the transformational potential.
HS2 is making progress and the benefits are already being seen, notably in the investment and job creation in the West Midlands in advance of HS2 services, and around 7,000 jobs have been supported so far, rising to around 30,000 at peak.
Parliament has approved the powers to proceed with Phase One of the railway, between London and the West Midlands, and we are making significant progress. Early works are well underway: HS2 Ltd has revealed the designs for new stations in Old Oak Common, Birmingham Interchange and Birmingham Curzon Street; enabling works on the route are progressing; decommissioning and preparatory works are taking place.
As has been seen with Stratford station in East London, railway stations have enormous power to transform their local surroundings. It is why I approved the appointment of a Master Development Partner (Lendlease) on 22 February 2018 to assist HS2 Ltd in delivering the new Euston station development. This will not only provide unparalleled levels of accessibility, ease and convenience for our passengers, but ensure work with local communities to help unlock wider regeneration, new jobs, homes and opportunities.
Last year, the tender shortlist for a construction partner for the two southern stations was released. In a clear signal of how work is progressing, this morning I am pleased to announce the intention to award these important positions to a Joint Venture between Mace Limited and Dragados S.A. for Euston and a Joint Venture between Balfour Beatty Group Ltd, VINCI Construction UK Ltd, VINCI Construction Grands Projets SAS and SYSTRA Ltd for Old Oak Common. They will bring their global construction management expertise to these vitally important pieces of national infrastructure.
This demonstrates how progress is continuing at pace in order to deliver stations that will be embraced by their local communities, drive economic growth and improve rail journeys for passengers, whilst at the same time delivering this Phase of the project to schedule and cost.
The progress we are making with HS2 is clear evidence that the Government is delivering the infrastructure our country needs to build a stronger, fairer, more prosperous Britain.