Opening of new Birmingham headquarters brings HS2 a step closer

HS2 moved closer to construction after the transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin officially opened HS2 Ltd’s headquarters in Birmingham on 4 February 2016.

Up to 1,000 staff will be employed at HS2 Ltd’s offices in Birmingham’s Colmore Business District, including engineers who will help design the railway to procurement specialists.

The official opening coincided with the final week of petitions in relation to the HS2 Phase One hybrid Bill being heard in the House of Commons Select Committee. This marks a significant step towards the Bill, which will provide the planning permission for Phase One of the High Speed 2 (HS2) route between London and the West Midlands, being passed and construction starting on the line.

Speaking at the office opening, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “The official opening of the headquarters here in Birmingham is proof that HS2 is already boosting jobs and skills, and will continue to do so as we head towards construction. This week we have taken another step towards putting spades in the ground as the Commons Select Committee has been hearing the final petitions on the Phase One Bill. I would like to pay tribute to members of the Committee, as well as those who have brought forward petitions. We have listened to residents and communities and I am pleased that in many cases we have been able to make the changes they have been calling for.”

Birmingham will be at the heart of the HS2 network, with new stations at Curzon Street and Birmingham Interchange when the Phase One route opens in 2026. Connections north to Crewe will open in 2027, with the lines to Leeds and Manchester due to be completed by 2033. 

Phase One of HS2 between London and the West Midlands is estimated to support up to 14,600 construction jobs, 2,200 permanent operations and maintenance jobs, and 30,300 jobs supported by development around HS2 stations in Euston, Old Oak Common, Birmingham Interchange and Birmingham Curzon Street. 

The petitioning process gives those affected by HS2 the opportunity to raise issues and voice concerns about the plans for the route between the West Midlands and London. Over the last 17 months, the HS2 Commons Select Committee, chaired by Robert Syms MP, has heard almost 2,600 petitions, many of which have led to changes to the Bill. 

As we reported last month, HS2 Ltd is recruiting an independent construction commissioner to look into any complaints during the building of Britain’s new high speed rail network.

The HS2 Phase One hybrid Bill is expected to achieve Royal Assent by December 2016. Construction on the London to Birmingham route is due to start in 2017.

If you would like to contact Andy Walker about this, or any other story, please email