HS2 station construction contract provides West Midlands jobs boost

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has announced that the contract to build HS2’s eco-friendly Interchange Station in the West Midlands, recently awarded to Laing O’Rourke, will support around 1,000 jobs over the next five years.

This big new jobs boost heading for the West Midlands will include 22 new apprenticeship roles, providing exciting training opportunities for local people looking to learn new skills and start a new career on the UK’s biggest infrastructure project.

Supply chain contracts will also be available for businesses in the region, including construction related services, specialist equipment supply and manufactured components, as well as catering, cleaning, printing, and recycling services.

Andy Street said: “When we think of Levelling Up in action, HS2 epitomises the potential we can and must unleash by backing the right schemes. HS2 will reinforce our region’s place at the heart of the UK economy when it starts operating but it is already delivering for the West Midlands today – through job creation, opportunities for local businesses and of course this new station contract.

“This announcement demonstrates once again that HS2 is a flagship Levelling Up project for the UK and will continue to catalyse investment into the West Midlands.”

HS2’s Interchange Station will be the catalyst for huge growth plans in Solihull, creating an economic transformation for the region. The plans, being led by the Urban Growth Company, will support 30,000 jobs, up to 3,000 new homes and 70,000m2 of commercial space.

This forms part of the wider UK Central Hub area plans for 70,000 jobs, 8,000 new homes and 650,000m2 of commercial space, generating £6.2 billion GVA per year and bringing 1.3 million people to within a 45-minute public transport commute of the station.

Mark Thurston, HS2’s CEO said: “Interchange Station will be transformational for the Midlands, with fantastic opportunities for people and businesses in the region being created right now, years before the station is open.

“The design of Interchange will make it one of the most sustainable stations anywhere in the world. Harnessing the latest green technology and designs will provide exciting jobs, training, and supply chain opportunities, as we begin to build a world-class transport hub for the UK.”

The station site covers an area of 150 hectares within a triangle of land formed by the M42, A45, and A452. Significant progress has already been made on the site, including the construction of modular bridges over the M42 and A446 as part of a remodelled road network in the area to facilitate access to the new station.

In 2023, after an initial 12-month planning stage, Laing O’Rourke will start the detailed design. HS2’s Main Works Contractor Balfour Beatty VINCI is currently preparing the site, ready for construction to start in 2024. The station is due for completion in 2027 in advance of the railway opening between 2029 and 2033.

Declan McGeeney, director of UK Infrastructure at Laing O’Rourke said: ”We’re proud to have been appointed to such a significant project for HS2 and for the Midlands region. Our teams have delivered major rail projects across the UK and we’ll be drawing on our experience of using modern methods of construction (MMC) to ensure project certainty.

“The ambition to make this one of the most sustainable stations in the world allows us to push the boundaries of MMC even further and it’s going to be an exciting project for all involved, including local and regional suppliers and especially for early talent who will join our team and use this experience as a springboard into construction and engineering.”

There will be up to five trains per hour passing through the station in both directions, with an estimated total of 175,000 seats per day, making this one of the best-connected transport interchanges in the country.

Image credit: HS2

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