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HS2 Birmingham Curzon Street masterplan to get go-ahead

HS2 Birmingham Curzon Street masterplan to get go-ahead

🕔20.Jul 2015

Plans to transform a wide part of Digbeth and Eastside around Birmingham’s HS2 Curzon Street terminus station are set to be backed.

The city council cabinet will approve the Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan on July 27.

The document, which was launched for public consultation in 2014, sets out proposals to deliver a world class integrated city centre station – Birmingham Curzon – along with major regeneration across Eastside, Digbeth and the city centre.

It’s claimed the planned regeneration will boost the Birmingham economy by £1.4 billion a year and see 36,000 jobs, 600,000 sq. metres of employment space and 4,000 homes delivered.

The plans will be amongst the largest regeneration schemes in the country and one of the biggest announced on the back of HS2.

The proposals would bring forward over 700,000sq.m of development within the Birmingham Curzon area. The economic growth potential of the area is 600,000 sq. metres for a range of employment generating uses.

Forming a key part of the national high speed rail network the new terminus station will see direct connections to London, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds.  The first phase, set to open in 2026, will provide journey times of 49 minutes between London and Birmingham.

Phase two of the scheme will connect Birmingham to other regional centres. Journey times will be halved between Birmingham and Leeds (from 1 hour 58 minutes to 57 minutes) and Birmingham and Manchester (1 hour 28 minutes to 41 minutes). Long term plans would see High Speed trains running to Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Key features of Birmingham Curzon include:

  • Paternoster Place – a wide, landscaped plaza that will transform pedestrian connections into Digbeth and create gateway development opportunities.
  • Station Square and Moor Street – a high quality pedestrian destination space fronting Birmingham Curzon and surrounded by new development including a new pedestrian route through the Pavilions focussed on the landmark Rotunda.
  • Curzon Promenade and Curzon Square – an extension of Eastside City Park, the Promenade will set Birmingham Curzon station in a landscaped, green setting with cafes, shops and restaurants creating a vibrant edge to the station and the park. Curzon Square will be an extension of the park’s event space providing a high quality setting for the Grade I Listed former Curzon Street Station and The Woodman pub.

A council spokeswoman said the Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan had helped secure several benefits since its launch:

  •  An initial Government allocation of £41.5 million to extend the Midland Metro tram to Eastside.
  • £30 million from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver local infrastructure across the masterplan area.
  • The decision by HS2 Ltd to locate their national construction HQ in Birmingham creating 1,500 new jobs, and construction of the National College for High Speed Rail within the masterplan area.
  • Extension of the City Centre Enterprise Zone to support the funding of local infrastructure.
  • The launch of the Curzon Regeneration Company as a shadow board – a partnership between Birmingham City Council, Government, LEP, Centro and HS2 Ltd – which will drive forward the future regeneration of the area.

Cllr Tahir Ali, cabinet member for development, transport and the economy, said:

We will have a completely new rail terminus in the heart of the city; the first for more than 100 years. Sitting between the city centre, the Eastside regeneration area and the Digbeth creative business quarter, the development offers fantastic regeneration opportunities and will see the city’s economy grow and prosper.

HS2 and the Masterplan proposals will bring a range of temporary and permanent jobs. It is estimated that the overall construction phases will result in the creation of almost 1,000 full time equivalent (FTE) gross jobs.

The operation of the station itself will create in the region of 200 gross jobs. Over 36,000 jobs will be created within the Masterplan area for the period.

A large proportion of the jobs created are expected to be within “higher order occupations”, according to the council. It is estimated that around 61 per cent of employees will be either managers, professionals or associate professionals.

The other main occupational groupings are expected to be administrative/secretarial (17 per cent) and sales/customer services (12 per cent).

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