Arrival of HS2 puts Curzon in spotlight
- Partners keen to make the most of HS2’s arrival
- Community asked for ideas for dynamic district
Residents, business owners and community leaders met yesterday (14 December) to begin shaping the future of the area surrounding the planned HS2 station in Birmingham city centre.
The ‘Curzon Symposium’ took place at Birmingham City University and looked at how the arrival of HS2 is set to spark a new wave of growth and development around the Curzon terminus station.
Attendees were shown an exclusive video especially commissioned to showcase the area’s unique identity, given tours of the key assets and took part in discussions about how to shape the area’s future.
The event was organised by Birmingham City Council, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and the recently-formed Curzon Delivery Board, chaired by well-known property and regeneration advocate Liz Peace CBE.
She said: “There is real momentum around this incredibly dynamic part of the city centre, following the launch of the £1bn Curzon Investment Plan earlier this year. The local community is integral to the future of this historic area and it’s important that they play their part in what the future should look like.
“Yesterday’s event was really well attended and it was clear that the community is bursting with ideas and committed to working in partnership to make the most of this brilliant, gritty, forward-looking part of the city.
“Now it’s our job to channel that support, enthusiasm and creative thinking into our long-term planning.”
Councillor John Clancy, leader of Birmingham City Council, was one of the key speakers at the event and said: “Birmingham is the beating heart of the HS2 network and we’re working with residents, businesses and community leaders to make the most of this once in a generation opportunity.
“This is about so much more than fast trains to and from London and the Curzon Investment Plan is a very clear signal of intent that our confident, ambitious city will use HS2 as a catalyst for inclusive growth.”
Simon Marks from GBSLEP also spoke at the event, outlining how the wider region was set to benefit from the arrival of HS2:
“The Curzon symposium has generated positive discussions about the Curzon Investment Plan and emphasised how Greater Birmingham is investing in the future to be a top global city region that drives the Midlands Engine and the UK economy outside London.
“The Plan is the first major pledge by a local area to maximise the impact of HS2, creating long term, sustainable economic prosperity. It is a critical trigger to transform an area of untapped potential in Birmingham’s city core to create thousands of new jobs, homes and places for businesses to thrive.
“The GBSLEP’s commitment to invest is a bold statement of intent for how we will utilise HS2 as a catalyst for growth at every step. By setting out our plans now, we will begin to realise the economic benefits in advance of HS2’s completion.”
Dr. Umar Daraz, Director for Innovation at Birmingham City University said: “The Curzon Symposium marks the start of an exciting journey to build and develop a simple plan that brings together the enormous strengths of world leading academic, scientific, entrepreneurial and cultural brilliance that already exists in the heart of Birmingham. It’s about connecting new developments of the Curzon and Big City Master-plan and the HS2 terminus to create a world-class innovation district, ‘the Knowledge Hub’ using it to ignite the regeneration of and transform the Eastside of Birmingham.
“We are committed to working with all partners in creating an inclusive, attractive and innovative place to learn, live and work. Birmingham City University’s recent £14million award in launching STEAM-house to transform the former Typhoo Tea factory into a collaborative Innovation Centre for a growing and entrepreneurial Creative & Digital cluster in the East Side is part of the Knowledge and a key part of the Strategy for Growth.”
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Claire Barker, Marketing Birmingham: 0121 202 5055