Shadow Chancellor sees just why Birmingham is THE place to invest
— LeaderofBirmingham (@BrumLeader) February 18, 2016
Recent visitors to our city – especially those arriving by rail – cannot fail to have been impressed by the dramatic transformation of New Street Station.
So I was delighted today to welcome Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell to Birmingham to showcase that transformation and the development of Grand Central.
We had to don hard hats and protective clothing because workmen are still on site putting the finishing touches to the project but New Street already embodies Birmingham’s growing reputation as a city on the up – a city to invest in.
The New Street redevelopment and Grand Central offer perfect examples of public enterprise and private enterprise working together in the city of Birmingham. That’s what built our city and it continues to build and re-shape the city today.
The Shadow Chancellor was certainly impressed and could see why Birmingham is now the most investable city in the United Kingdom. We’re the sixth most investable city in Europe and we are going to rise up that table.
The New Street regeneration and the arrival of HS2, will act as catalysts for future developments that will provide the jobs and skills we need in Birmingham.
Investment not austerity is the way to recovery and, looking ahead, there’s absolutely no question that HS2 really is seen as a game-changer for the future economic growth of Birmingham. It will super-charge the city as the place to invest and locate.
This is about investing in the future of our city and our people. We should see projects like New Street and of course HS2 as an opportunity to build skills and it’s really important that people from across the city benefit.
That’s why I welcomed the recent opening of the HS2 National Headquarters in Birmingham and the granting of planning permission for the National College for High Speed Rail on the site of the former Birmingham Science Park.
Birmingham is at the heart of the national HS2 network with Curzon Station, the construction headquarters in the city centre and the maintenance depot at Washwood Heath. The National College for High Speed Rail will be a much-needed conduit for the thousands of young engineers and scientists within Birmingham to access cutting-edge developments in high tech rail.
I’m keen to ensure that HS2 becomes part of the solution in relation to our challenges with jobs and skills in Birmingham. We should see this as an opportunity to build skills in this city and it’s really important that people from across the city benefit.
So when we talk about projects like New Street and Grand Central, we’re not just talking about buildings and retail – we’re talking about people, jobs, skills and pride.