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Connectivity takes centre stage in Cannes

Connectivity takes centre stage in Cannes

🕔15.Mar 2017

Connectivity is the key focus, say the organsiers of the Midlands UK presence at MIPIM, with HS2 in particular “continuing to attract interest from potential investors around the world.”

Greater Birmingham is holding a number of events focused on connectivity in the Midlands Pavilion at Cannes this afternoon.

The Greater Birmingham delegation say the region is already welcoming a number of companies – including US engineering firm Jacobs, global bank HSBC and property consultancy Carter Jonas – that want to capitalise on the arrival of HS2, and the other transport infrastructure it will stimulate. HS2 is expected to generate £14Bn GVA in the Midlands.

Marketing Birmingham says Greater Birmingham is also benefiting from the £600M redevelopment of New Street station, the extension of the Midlands Metro, Birmingham Airport’s £40M runway extension and the Wolverhampton Interchange – a £120M integrated regional transport hub.

READ: Midlands makes an exhibit of itself in Cannes.

Birmingham Airport is the focus of an event looking at its recent growth and plans for the future. Its chief executive, Paul Kehoe, commented:

We cannot underestimate the importance of connectivity to the economic performance of Greater Birmingham. Expanding air, rail and road links to and from the region will help to boost trade links, secure more inward investment, welcome new visitors and attract those who want to live in the region long-term.

With the onset of Brexit, it is crucial for the future of our local and national economy to highlight how Greater Birmingham is still open to business from across the world. We are focusing on connectivity at MIPIM to emphasise its importance in front of a global audience of potential investors.

READ: Midlands Engine – what is really under the bonnet?

Other events taking place include an update on the development and future plans of HS2 with Mike Lyons, Programme Director at HS2 Ltd; a discussion about how HS2 will drive economic growth and rebuild the national economy; and a debate on how the scheme will affect employment, skills, innovation and productivity across the Midlands.

The HS2 Interchange station will be located at UK Central Solihull’s The Hub. It’s Growth and Infrastructure Plan is also being launched today.

Liz Peace, Chair of the Curzon Urban Regeneration Company said:

With Royal Asset now granted for Phase One of HS2, we are in a much stronger position to deliver the full potential of Birmingham Curzon. Almost £1 billion has been committed to regenerating the area, through the Curzon Investment Plan launched in September 2016.

HS2 has also become a catalyst for growing the region’s emerging sectors, triggering new innovation and enterprise. Adjacent to the HS2 Curzon Street station, we’ll see the £200m redevelopment of a historic Birmingham building to create Typhoo Wharf – a dynamic, new tech hub for the city. We are now completely focused on delivering this vision and ensuring that the ambitions for Birmingham Curzon become a reality.

READ: Government publishes long-awaited Midlands Engine Strategy

The proposed £400M Brierley Hill Metro project will link the Black Country to the HS2 network. Black Country LEP board member Tom Westley added:

Major transport schemes such as HS2 have a wide-ranging impact that goes beyond the areas they are built in. This kind of infrastructure boosts regional and national economic growth; attracts considerable inward investment; and makes the case for further connectivity between other economic hubs. It is important that the Black Country capitalises on the growth of Greater Birmingham’s connectivity at events like MIPIM, which will help to attract investment for transport schemes within the local area.

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