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Business and political leaders join High Speed 2 Growth Taskforce to boost benefits

Senior business and political figures have been appointed to the HS2 Growth Taskforce to maximise economic benefits created by High Speed 2.

Chaired by commercial secretary and former LOCOG boss Lord Deighton, the expert group was set up in June to advise on job creation and regional economic growth.

The taskforce will also comprise Manchester City Council chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein as deputy chairman, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, Oxford University economics professor Tony Venables and London and Continental Railways chair Lorraine Baldry, among others.

It will make recommendations on opportunities including regeneration of areas surrounding HS2 stations, training and job creation, and improving supply chains and manufacturing capacity across the country.

The Department for Transport said the taskforce will also seek to build on the success of Crossrail’s supply chain, which has seen billions of pounds of contracts awarded across the UK.

Commercial secretary to the Treasury Lord Deighton said: “HS2 presents a massive opportunity to boost growth in regions across the UK and it’s vital that we talk to business leaders, public sector organisations, local government and the public about how we maximise the benefit to the whole of the country.”

HS2 Growth Taskforce will make recommendations to:

  • Maximise regional and national growth opportunities;
  • Get British industry and the UK workforce ready to respond to the vast array of opportunities HS2 will provide – 70 per cent of jobs created by HS2 are expected to be outside London;
  • Ensure HS2 delivers as a catalyst for economic growth and regeneration around the stations and surrounding communities;
  • Ensure job opportunities from HS2 can be maximised and advise on what contribution HS2 can make to the skills and training agenda;
  • Maximise the potential to use the buying power of HS2 to improve supply chains and manufacturing capacity across the UK.


Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin added: “Lord Deighton has pulled together an incredibly impressive group of people for this taskforce, all highly respected experts in their field.

“Their skills and experience will help ensure that we squeeze every possible benefit from this vital project.

“Building on the success of HS1 and its role in the transformation of Kings Cross, HS2 will act as catalyst to city centre regeneration and major development schemes.”

Mr McLoughlin said he was “determined to get maximum payback from the investment”.

The taskforce will publish an interim report later this year and will submit its final report to the government early next year.

HS2 is expected to generate up to 22,000 jobs in the next five years, rising to a maximum of 50,000 jobs at the peak of construction in the late 2020s, according to independent analysis by Greenguage 21.

HS2 Growth Taskforce:

Lord Deighton, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (chair)

Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive, Manchester City Council (deputy)

Lorraine Baldry, chair, London & Continental Railways

Sir Albert Bore, leader, Birmingham City Council

Neale Coleman, Olympic legacy adviser to the mayor of London

Matthew Colledge, leader, Trafford Council

Julie Dore, leader, Sheffield City Council

Alison Nimmo, chief executive, Crown Estate

Frances O’Grady, general secretary, TUC

Sir John Rose, deputy chairman, Rothschild Group

Pete Waterman, Cheshire and Warrington LEP

Prof Tony Venables, Oxford University

Readers' comments (1)

  • It's never going to get built - why are we still throwing cost at it??
    Give it up gracefully

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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