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Government pledges regeneration help for HS2 cities

The government has pledged to help all cities with proposed High Speed 2 stations set up local delivery bodies to maximise the economic benefits of the planned £43bn scheme.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said in a response to the HS2 Growth Taskforce report that he was committed to unlocking the potential of the rapid north-south railway.

The Lord Deighton-chaired taskforce this spring called for creation of a minister for HS2-related growth among 19 recommendations to government.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “HS2 is a vital part of our long-term economic plan - it will help generate tens of thousands of jobs, rebalance the economy and secure the country’s future prosperity.

“In responding to the Growth Taskforce we are giving our full support to local areas to develop their HS2 growth strategies and transform cities, towns and regions into magnets for growth.

“We will continue working together to unlock the full potential of HS2 and I thank the taskforce for its work and for giving us a framework for taking forward the HS2 growth agenda.”

The government added that project promoter HS2 Ltd and London Continental Railways were developing proposals for a central regeneration company to support creation of local delivery bodies and growth plans.

Deighton said today: “The HS2 Growth Taskforce report made clear that we must not take a ‘build it and they will come’ attitude to HS2, if we are to make the most of this once-in-a-generation opportunity. It is up to all of us in government, local authorities, HS2 Ltd and UK businesses to unlock its full potential for economic growth.

“It is great to see the government taking the next steps towards this through local growth plans and proposals for a central regeneration company. Together we will ensure Britain has what it takes to get the best out of this project.”

The Public Accounts Committee yesterday warned that many of the broadest economic benefits of the Crossrail project were left out at appraisal stage, and urged the government not to repeat this mistake on future schemes.

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