Stoke Staffs LEP
LEP pledge to maximise benefits of HS2
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LEP pledge to maximise benefits of HS2

The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership is committed to maximising the benefits to our area from HS2, following today’s announcement by the Chancellor to press ahead with construction of the line to Crewe.
LEP chairman David Frost CBE welcomed the government’s decision, which he said provided clarity and gave the LEP a firm foundation on which to work with businesses to build economic growth and bring more and better jobs to our region.
Mr Frost said HS2 could be a catalyst to improve local and regional rail connectivity, by exploiting the extra capacity released on existing lines by the building of the high-speed service. It could also bring faster services on the existing network by using ‘classic compatible’ high-speed trains. In particular, he said that confirmation of the Handsacre link between HS2 and the West Coast Main Line would help safeguard services to Stafford and the south of the county.
“The LEP will be working hard to spread the benefits of HS2 across our region and to play our part in mitigating the adverse effects on local communities, both during construction and when the line in complete,” he said.
“We see great opportunities for more and faster services to London on conventional rail lines as well as HS2, extra capacity on the Trent Valley and Chase rail lines, and improved rail connections in areas including southern Staffordshire to Birmingham International, Stoke to Derby, and Stoke to the north of England.
“We will also be working closely with our partners in the Northern Gateway Development Zone, which links the Midlands Engine with the Northern Powerhouse, to use HS2 as a springboard for jobs and growth. This will be part of a wider strategy involving key road transport corridor improvements on the M6, A34, A50 and A500 to cut local congestion and move through traffic more efficiently, as well as identifying and promoting key sites for employment growth.”
Mr Frost said the LEP also aimed to work closely with HS2 Ltd to maximise the supply chain opportunities for Stoke and Staffordshire businesses in the line’s construction and operation.
And he stressed that the region was already very much ‘open for business’ ahead of HS2.
“We are already hard at work on boosting skills, jobs and business opportunities to create a thriving economy and flourishing local communities that will be best placed to take full advantage of HS2,” he said.