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Sir Albert climbs on board with Pete Waterman for one-off railway gig

Sir Albert climbs on board with Pete Waterman for one-off railway gig

🕔31.Jul 2013

peteDoes Sir Albert Bore have star quality? We may soon find out. In a partnership you never thought you’d see the Birmingham city council leader is to team up with veteran pop mogul Pete Waterman.

Both men are on a Government taskforce to promote HS2, the planned high speed rail line from London to Birmingham and the north of England.

Coventry-born Waterman, formerly a judge on the TV show Pop Idol and Popstars the Rivals, is a railway enthusiast and a member of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership.

Described by a Department for Transport press release as “the most successful British producer-songwriter in British pop history and a senior statesman of the music industry”, Waterman has sold more than 500 million records across the world.

Sir Albert, a city councillor since 1980, can’t match Waterman’s entrepreneurialism but is praised by the DfT for having undertaken a major role in the regeneration of Birmingham and for his membership since 1994 of the European Union Committee of the Regions.

The taskforce, a group of independent experts, was set up to maximise the economic benefits and job creation expected to flow from HS2.

It will look at and learn lessons from the British and international experience of driving growth from major infrastructure investments and, bearing in mind affordability, set out options and make recommendations on:

  • How HS2 can be used as a local catalyst for economic growth and regeneration around the stations and surrounding communities.


  • How to maximise regional and national growth opportunities.


  • The potential to use the buying power of HS2 to improve supply chains and manufacturing capacity across the UK.


  • How to make British industry ready to respond to the opportunities.


  • How to maximise jobs and ensure that the UK workforce is ready for the opportunities that HS2 will provide.

The taskforce members are:

  • Lord Deighton, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (chair)
  • Sir Howard Bernstein, CEO Manchester City Council (deputy)
  • Sir Albert Bore, Leader Birmingham City Council
  • Sir John Rose, Deputy Chairman Rothschild Group
  • Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of TUC
  • Neale Coleman, Mayor of London’s Adviser on Olympic Legacy
  • Prof Tony Venables, Oxford University
  • Alison Nimmo, CEO Crown Estate
  • Pete Waterman, Cheshire and Warrington LEP
  • Cllr Julie Dore, Leader Sheffield City Council
  • Cllr Matthew Colledge, Leader of Trafford Council
  • Lorraine Baldry, Chair of London and Continental Railways

The Government believes HS2 will be a key driver of jobs and growth. Independent analysis commissioned by Greengauge 21 predicts that HS2 is capable of generating up to 22,000 jobs in the next 5 years, rising to a maximum of 50,000 jobs by the late 2020s.

According to the DfT, the whole project will eventually generate over £50 billion of benefits for the UK economy along with 100,000 jobs.

The figures have been challenged by campaigners against high speed rail who claim that economic benefits and job creation projections are wildly over-estimated.

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