Midlands Connect, Midlands Engine, Northern Powerhouse Partnership and Core Cities UK have urged Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Vince Cable and Nicola Sturgeon to offer their unwavering support to the project, explaining it is the only way to ensure the country benefits fully from a once-in-a-generation opportunity to drive regional economic growth and rebalance the economy.
The letter has been signed by more than 40 business and civic leaders, including Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of Core Cities & Leader of Leeds City Council, Sir John Peace, Chair of Midlands Engine & Midlands Connect, Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool City Region, Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive of Manchester Airports Group, the Managing Directors of East Midlands Airport and Birmingham Airport, as well as top executives from Boots, HSBC, PwC and Mace.
Delivering HS2 in full will connect eight of the UK’s ten biggest cities, and once integrated with crucial upgrades to the existing rail network, including Northern Powerhouse Rail and the Midlands Rail Hub, all ten cities will benefit from a step-change in rail connectivity.
The Open Letter says:
“HS2 Phase Two will extend the benefits of this vital piece of infrastructure to more than 25 million people – over a third of the UK’s population – across the East Midlands, the North and Scotland. These people and places should not be denied the job and growth opportunities that HS2 brings. It must continue beyond Birmingham.
“Our support must not flounder or stall. We must unite to deliver HS2 in full, and we urge you to join us by offering your vocal and unwavering support. Help make HS2 happen for everyone, and help us all achieve our full potential.
“To our party leaders we say – back it, build it, benefit from it.”