The government has appointed David Prout in the new post of HS2 director general, tasked with delivery of the project.
Mr Prout, currently a director general at the Department of Communities and Local Government, will take over responsibility for delivery of the £34bn high-speed rail network in the new year.
Mr Prout has been at DCLG since 2009, holding responsibility for localism and as deputy to the head of the civil service.
Department for Transport permanent secretary Philip Rutnam said he was “very pleased” that Mr Prout would be taking charge “at such an exciting time”.
“HS2 is a hugely important programme for the future of the UK. He will be leading a team which is already hard at work delivering this project, as well as liaising closely with HS2 Ltd, as we work together to introduce the legislation into Parliament on time next year that will make HS2 a reality.”
Mr Prout said: “Making HS2 a reality is absolutely crucial to our country’s future prosperity and I am very pleased to have been asked to take leadership of this much-needed programme at this time.
“I look forward to helping to take the project through Parliament and continuing to demonstrate the very real need for more capacity for people and freight on our railways, which will help make Britain a more prosperous and less congested country.”
Mr Prout has also previously worked as executive director for planning and borough development at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, DCLG’s director of local government policy, and environment attaché at the UK Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels.
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