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HS2 to ‘Spark West Mids Renaissance’

The chairman of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has hailed HS2 as "much more than a fast train" as the high-speed route linking the region with London looks set to get the final go-ahead.

The hybrid bill will receive Royal Assent and become an Act of Parliament this morning (23 February 2017), leaving the West Midlands free to press ahead with plans to spark development to prepare for its arrival.

The Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy, which has been adopted by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), estimates the project will create 104,000 jobs and 2,000 apprenticeships.

HS2 Ltd has also recently launches its headquarters in Birmingham city centre and The National College for High Speed Rail is due to open in September 2017.

Bob Sleigh, chairman of the WMCA, said: "Royal Assent is important because it makes HS2 an absolute reality and that means the West Midlands can now fully deliver its HS2 ambitions.

"Those ambitions have a clear focus on jobs, apprenticeships, major investment at the two station sites in Solihull and Birmingham and millions of pounds of contract opportunities for West Midlands SMEs."

Sleigh added that the West Midlands "has never been better positioned to make such an outstanding contribution to UK plc right now".

"My message to the people of the West Midlands who are wondering what HS2 will give them, is that this is so much more than a fast train," he said. "The arrival of HS2 will allow us to create a legacy and will help secure your future, your children’s future and probably your grandchildren’s future too."

For more information please contact the West Midlands Combined Authority on 0121 200 2787 or visit www.westmidlandscombinedauthority.org.uk.

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