Ahead of the launch of the launch of Sir David Higgin’s next report on HS2 due to be launched on Monday (27 October), Sheffield City Council Leader and High Speed 2 Growth Task Force Member Councillor Julie Dore has outlined the need for the Government to focus on taking the actions needed to make sure cities like Sheffield benefit from the project.

Under current plans Sheffield’s HS2 station is only estimated to create 3,500 jobs compared to 29,700 in Manchester and 13,200 in Leeds. The key difference is that Sheffield will have a parkway station four miles outside the city centre in contrast to the other cities that have a station in the heart of their economic centres. This will put Sheffield City Region at a permanent competitive disadvantage compared to the neighbouring city regions and undermine Sheffield’s role in a new Northern powerhouse economy.

A city centre station would give extra jobs to all of the Sheffield City Region at a time when it is aiming to create 70,000 net new jobs.

The campaign for a city centre station is supported by Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, Irwin Mitchell, HLW Keeble Lawson, the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, Grant Thornton and Scottish Widows.

Councillor Julie Dore said: “Whilst it’s welcome that the government are making the right noises about HS2, whether or not it makes the lasting difference in transforming our economy will depend upon the right decisions being taken now. For Sheffield, having a city centre station is fundamental to the future of our economy. A city centre station create 6,500 more jobs than a parkway station by allowing Sheffield city centre to connect with not only London but our other leading cities.

“City centres are the hubs of job creation, particularly for high skilled jobs. This means it is vital that the public transport links are put in place to allow the city centre to city centre connectivity that cities like Sheffield need to compete, attract business and secure the jobs and industries of the future that they need. At the same time as Sheffield has being given a station located outside the city centre, other leading cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham are given city centre stations meaning Sheffield is at a competitive disadvantage.

“As David Higgins launches his latest report next week, the key test will be: will the government move away from pure rhetoric about HS2 transforming the economy and instead step up and make the big decisions needed to achieve this. It is no good just ‘talking the talk’ about HS2 being essential to economic growth in the north. If Government are serious about this they have to listen to the experts who are saying that it is crucial that links are made between the centres of our leading cities.

“Given the overwhelming evidence and basic common sense supporting stations being located in city centres and not out of town, it is astonishing that in Sheffield we are still facing the prospect of a station located at Meadowhall. When we’re talking about a 21st Century economy which is defined by job growth concentrated in city centres, a parkway station located 4 miles outside of the centre of Sheffield isn’t going to cut it.”

Ends

Notes to editors:
Councillor Julie Dore was a member of the HS2 Growth Taskforce which reported earlier this year, a member of the One North Project to connect Britain’s northern cities and Core Cities Cabinet Member fort Finance and Investment
You can read Sheffield City Council’s submission to the Government’s HS2 consultation at the following link:
http://www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/content/images/fromassets/100_2827_130214102747.pdf
You can read the Volterra Report ‘High Speed 2 Stational Location Analysis’ at the following link
http://www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/content/images/fromassets/100_2834_130214103758.pdf
You can find letters of support for a city centre station in Sheffield backed by Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, Irwin Mitchell, HLW Keeble Lawson, the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, Grant Thornton, Scottish Widows, IPPR North and the Centre for Cities, at the following link
http://www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/content/images/fromassets/100_2833_130214103549.pdf

For further information please contact Warwick Toone, Media Relations Officer on 0114 205 3546 or 07764 659182. E-mail: warwick.toone@sheffield.gov.uk. For out of office hours media enquiries ring 07711 153995.