Plans to create an urban quarter around the HS2 Interchange station in Solihull have taken a major step forward today after almost £10m in new funding was secured.
In addition, the principles of designing new infrastructure and transport connections at the site close to the NEC and Birmingham Airport were agreed, with a final deal to be signed later this month.
The Urban Growth Company (UGC) was established by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council to maximise development and investment at the HS2 station site and neighbouring land, collectively known as The Hub.
It has been working jointly with the council to secure £9.8m of devolution deal funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority to enable HS2 to design the changes.
UGC and Solihull Council have also reached the basis of an agreement with HS2 about how the design process will be managed and delivered to support the vision for the new station site over the next two years, laying the foundations for other development at the wider site.
The changes include a plaza and public transport interchange aimed at creating a sense of arrival at the new HS2 station, replacing surface car parking with multi-storey car parks to free up land, improved pedestrian links and additional capacity for utilities.
This will ensure HS2’s urban quarter Interchange is better connected to local transport services, including future Metro and Sprint routes, and also open up the wider site for development.
The Hub is home to a number of key stakeholders including the NEC, Birmingham Airport and Jaguar Land Rover as well as the 340-acre Arden Cross development site, which will host the HS2 interchange station alongside business and residential uses.
The funding deal is being announced at international property conference MIPIM in France today.
Councillor Ian Courts, deputy leader of Solihull Council, said: “This agreement means we really can make the most of HS2’s arrival and deliver up to 77,500 new jobs, 775,000 sq metres of commercial space, 4,000 new homes and generate £4.1bn every year as a result.
“It also means that people across the region will be better connected than ever, thanks to the improvements to local transport links.”
UGC chairman Nick Brown added: “We’ve always said The Hub area has the potential to drive nationally significant economic growth but only if the vision for Interchange station site was sufficiently ambitious.
“That’s why we’ll continue to work hard with the combined authority and HS2 to make sure these new plans for the station site match that ambition and are future-proof.”
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “HS2 offers the West Midlands an envious opportunity in terms of jobs, development and investment.
“It also offers the opportunity to really think about how we maximise the benefits for the wider borough of Solihull, helping to drive economic performance and growth in what is already the UK’s economic powerhouse.”