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Investing in our economy

How will HS2 help Britain achieve a more balanced, more productive economy?

HS2 will serve regions representing over half of the UK economy.

Planning for a prosperous future

HS2’s vision is to be a catalyst for economic growth across Britain. That’s why the railway is being built – to help get the best out of Britain.

By vastly improving connections between cities and regions, HS2 will bring people, their skills and businesses closer together, opening up markets new and old, and creating a more balanced economy for the whole country.

The stations HS2 serves will attract investment to their local area and surrounding region. This economic regeneration and development is already underway. Since HS2 was announced, new records have been set in Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds for building things like offices, homes and hotel rooms.

Smaller firms are benefiting already too. We’ve made bidding for contracts as easy as possible, especially for small and medium sized enterprises, who are winning work on our project and planning for a prosperous future.

HS2's budget is £55.7 billion. For every £1 invested in HS2 the UK will receive £2.30 in benefits

HS2: Realising the potential

The way we design, build and operate HS2, and the planning and investment that it unlocks in local places on the route, must be guided by the principle of making the benefits of Britain’s new high speed railway accessible to everyone. Only then can HS2 transform productivity and economic growth in the Midlands and North.

Big projects, like big ideas, do not come pre-cooked. They have to be continually thought through, not just in terms of delivery, but also their potential to bring about radical change.

HS2 takes much of its inspiration from the Japanese Shinkansen high speed railway which carries 450,000 passengers a day. We will provide high capacity, fast, frequent and reliable services between our largest cities. The Japanese experience shows the potential of HS2 to completely redefine the future geography of the UK economy.

Learn more about that redefining. Read our latest report, HS2: Realising the potential

View our YouTube playlist to find out how we're getting the best out of Britain.

Getting the best out of Britain

Drawing on evidence from over 100 employers, local authorities and universities, HS2: Getting the best out of Britain, highlights the regional strengths of highly skilled manufacturing clusters, universities and research centres, and cutting edge technology entrepreneurs, but warns that more needs to be done to draw them together and realise their full potential in the modern economy.

David Higgins, Chairman of High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd, said:

“This report is the evidence that HS2 will boost productivity in the North and Midlands. This is a once in a generation opportunity to join up and amplify the many centres of excellence around the country, as we prepare to exit the European Union.

The report shows that world-leading skills and research in the north and midlands can match that of London and the South-East. Cities and regions in the North and Midlands account for 32% of the UK’s research staff working in universities with high quality research, compared to 35% in London and the South-East, and high quality universities produce thousands of graduates every year.

Despite this, employers in the North are still held back by a lack of access to skills, with 30% of businesses in Manchester citing lack of skills as a barrier to growth. At the same time London continues to attract graduates from around the country with nearly half of its population at NVQ4 qualification level or above, compared to a UK average of 37%.

The report demonstrates that by joining up the major conurbations around the country, HS2 will enable a greater pooling of people and capital around the regions of the UK. This connectivity will enable businesses in the North and Midlands to gain better access to new markets, investments, and become more globally attractive.

In addition, the study finds that by bringing major cities closer together, HS2 would further support the distribution of the business and professional services market around the whole country, which makes up over 10% of the UK economy. With office costs up to 80% cheaper in the North compare to London, and salaries up to 40% lower, huge efficiency savings can be made. It is estimated that relocating a 50 person skilled legal back office from the City of London to Liverpool could achieve annual savings of £1 million.

HS2 trains will serve over 25 stations connecting around 30 million people. That’s almost half the population.

HS2 trains will serve over 25 stations connecting around 30 million people. That’s almost half the population.

How will HS2 improve our economy?

Specifically HS2 will:

  • Provide businesses with access to a wider pool of potential employees
  • Help local areas in the Midlands and North to attract and retain talent
  • Provide people with greater job opportunities within commutable distance
  • Provide businesses with access to new customers and clients in UK cities and regions
  • Open up new opportunities through improved connections to airports and international gateways
  • Help connect local places and their businesses with suppliers and centres of research and innovation
  • Make it easier for businesses to expand or locate in cities and regions outside London
  • Support small business growth by improving access to sources of finance, mentorship and professional networks