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Birmingham reveals four sites for national HS2 College

Birmingham reveals four sites for national HS2 College

🕔06.May 2014

Cover Image: via Railway Technology

Four Birmingham sites have been identified as a possible location for a national high speed rail engineering college.

Land at Eastside Locks, Birmingham Science Park Aston, Riverside in Perry Barr and Jennens Road in Eastside is being put forward to the Government by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).

The four sites put paid to the possibility that GBSLEP may have opted for land close to the planned HS2 interchange station at Birmingham Airport / NEC.

The college would become a national centre for skills training for the HS2 network and the proposal prepared by the partners involved in the GBSLEP bid seeks to create a global centre to provide the skills development for high speed projects around the world.

Led by a private sector steering group including Arup, Balfour Beatty, Chiltern Railways and Carillion, the bid also has support from a network of almost 60 businesses involved in rail and construction.

It harnesses the talents and resources of Birmingham City Council, the nine FE colleges in the Greater Birmingham & Solihull FE Consortium and the LEP’s three universities.

If successful, the bid will see the college work with other skills providers and employers around the country to ensure the best training available.

Birmingham faces stiff competition for the HS2 college from other cities and towns close to the planned high speed rail line from Euston to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. A Government decision confirming the location is expected later this year.

Steve Hollis, Deputy Chairman of the GBSLEP, said: “We believe our proposition is a compelling one, delivering for Government an elite educational establishment, at the heart of the HS2 route.

“Our proposals are built on solid foundations – shaped by key private sector employers and supported by strong local authority, educational and skills networks.

“We have submitted four site options to the Government, each located in or near the city centre and each with particular strengths which we feel will suit the objectives of Government.

“We know HS2 will have a huge economic impact on Greater Birmingham – our aim is to maximise this, make the most of the Government’s investment in the project and rebalance the economy.”

It is expected the successful bidder will deliver a college by 2017 with the first construction phases of the HS2 route to begin the same year and completion of the route between Birmingham and London to be ready by 2026.

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