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Business leaders to present 'overwhelming' case for HS2

Business leaders from Birmingham are to present what they call an 'overwhelming' business case for bringing high speed rail to the city.

A computer generated image of a possible HS2 train Credit: HS2

The CEO of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, Jerry Blackett, is to give evidence in Manchester to the Lords' Economic Affairs Committee, which is examining the economic impact of HS2.

He's expected to tell the committee that 80% of people in a recent survey said the project will have a positive impact on the West Midlands.

Business leaders welcome reported Qatari HS2 investment

Business leaders in Birmingham have welcomed reports of a proposed investment from the Qatari royal family in the city's planned HS2 station.

An aerial view of how Curzon Street station could look Credit: HS2 Limited

The Emir of Qatar visited the UK last month, and reportedly told Prime Minister David Cameron that the Gulf state were particularly interested in investing in the regeneration planned in central Birmingham.

The Curzon Street station would become one of the largest new stations in Britain for over a century, if the plans for the HS2 station were to come to fruition.

The plans there also include building 2,000 homes and 600,000 square metres of office space in the area.

We should celebrate that any major development in Birmingham attracts global interest so it is no surprise that Curzon Street is attracting widespread attention. It was always the case that HS2 would need to be backed by private investment.

– Jerry Blackett, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC)


Disagreement could lead to East Midlands missing out on HS2

The HS2 task force say the East Midlands could miss out on a high speed rail link from north to south, unless politicians can come to a broad agreement on where it should be based.

Delegates at the HS2 meeting Credit: ITV News Central

At a conference today in Loughborough, delegates heard compelling arguments from all sides.

Toton in Nottinghamshire had been a preferred option, but now Breaston in Derbyshire is looking a possibility.

No decision is expected until after the General Election. Todays summit was all about winning hearts and minds.


Campaigners against HS2 say putting case to MPs has 'gone well'

The leader of a campaign group opposed to the building of HS2 - the High speed rail line which cut journey times from Birmingham to London in half - has been putting his case to MPs.

Joe Rukin is challenging a bid by HS2 Ltd - appointed to build the £50billion pound line - who claim that Stop HS2 has no legal right to petition the select committee now considering the actual route. He's hoping the challenge will be overturned.

HS2 staff could be 'paid more than Prime Minister'

When built HS2 would run from London to Birmingham, then fork up through Staffordshire and to the East Midlands. Credit: HS2 Ltd

The Transport Secretary has said it's vital to get the "best people" working on HS2, after it emerged that thirty staff could be better paid than the Prime Minister.

Patrick McLoughlin says HS2 must attract the 'best people' Credit: PA

The Transport Secretary & Derbyshire Dales MP Patrick McLoughlin said the proposed salaries were within the budget set and would involve hiring engineers with established skills.

But he said all salaries would have to be approved by the Treasury.

MPs' HS2 meeting to take place up to three times a week for two years

A group of MPs are due to meet up to three times a week to discuss opposition to HS2, the High Speed rail line.

Almost 2,000 petitions have been sent in - and all of them have to be heard and discussed before building work can begin. The first meeting takes place today.

The MPs will meet two or three times a week to hear the petitions - and it's expected to take around two years.

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