By Oliver Thompson
Chairman of HS2 Ltd, Allan Cook, has been confirmed as the headline speaker at the HS2 Economic Growth Conference in Leeds on Tuesday 3rd September.
The conference is expected to be attended by over 400 delegates to which Cook will be sharing his views on the HS2 Project to the UK’s economic future.
Over 40 senior civic and business leaders from across the country will also be on the stage including the Leader of the Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese, Leader of the Leeds City Council Judith Blake, and the Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council Kay Cutts.
Organised by Built Environment Networking, the conference aims to bring senior leaders from the public and private sectors together to discuss and debate the opportunities that HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and Midlands Engine Rail will bring to city regions.
Mr Cook said: “HS2 is real and happening. Work is progressing across Phase One with over 250 work locations supporting 9,000 jobs and opportunities for 2,000 businesses.
“We are making good progress on Phase Two. In July the Bill for the first extension of HS2 to the North passed its final Commons stage by a majority of 246 votes. It is now going through the House of Lords.
“Business and civic leaders are coming together to maximise the potential from investment in HS2. It has the potential to create nearly 500,000 jobs, 100,000 new homes and adds billions to the economy of the country. This will be a major economic boost for towns and cities across the Midlands and the North.
“Once complete, HS2 will transform journeys across the UK. It will give passengers thousands of extra seats every day and improve our environment by taking cars and freight off our busy roads. It will help to bring Britain closer together and provide a boost for the economy in the North and the Midlands.
“Combined with the right kind of investment, HS2 and NPR services could make Manchester and other cities of the north, one of the best-connected and productive locations in the North of England, which with other Northern cities, can help drive forward the rebalancing of the UK economy.”
HS2 which is short for High Speed 2, is designed to cut journey times, ease overcrowding and boost regional business to which officials say the £32.7b project will create at least 100,000 jobs.
The project has received some backlash however, especially from rural communities who will be affected the most as lines will pass through their land.
Huddersfield is the second busiest railway station in West Yorkshire and links to Leeds would certainly increase the connectivity between both settlements. Long-term plans for a platform 9 at the Huddersfield Railway Station are currently being discussed.