MP welcomes £50million boost to unlock the Arden Cross HS2 site - The Solihull Observer

MP welcomes £50million boost to unlock the Arden Cross HS2 site

Solihull Editorial 3rd Mar, 2021 Updated: 3rd Mar, 2021   0

MERIDEN MP Saqib Bhatti has welcomed the news that the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has allocated £50million to replace surface parking with multi-storey facilities, thereby unlocking 28 hectares for new businesses and homes around the High Speed 2 Birmingham Interchange Station.

The money was announced in the Budget and the funding will support economic generation and development around the Arden Cross site.

Since his election in December 2019, Mr Bhatti, a keen supporter of HS2, has been working with West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, Solihull Council and the Urban Growth Company to make the case for these funds which will unlock an economic zone around the interchange area and protect the green belt by helping to reduce the impact of the high speed rail line.

“This investment by the Chancellor is very welcome and it epitomises his desire for recovery,” said Mr Bhatti.

“This measure unleashes an economic zone which in my view will be formidable in attracting investment and jobs.

“This funding also means land will be used more efficiently avoiding a large flat car park and protecting our greenbelt.

“This was imperative and I thank the Chancellor for his vision and support.”

Chancellor Sunak said: “This £50m of funding will bring new jobs, homes and opportunities to the local area.

“I thank Saqib Bhatti, Andy Street and Solihull Council for their hard work in making the case for this investment which will make the Arden Cross development a global economic hub whilst also protecting the green belt.”

Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, said: “It’s fantastic news for Solihull to secure such a significant investment in today’s Budget announcement. This vital financial injection provides the stimulus for us to begin to realise the incredible development opportunity at the UK Central Hub.

“Five years ago we established a vision at the Council for how the land around the HS2 Interchange Station could be developed to bring maximum benefits for Solihull.

“I set the four guiding principles of connectivity, optimising land use, integrating green and blue infrastructure and good design. We were never comfortable with the prospect of such a connected location in the borough being simply used for a surface car park.

“Constructing a multi-storey car park as opposed to tarmacking swathes of valuable land allows us to maximise the benefits that the HS2 Interchange Station brings directly to Solihull and its residents.

“At the heart of the vision for our UK Central programme is to deliver key infrastructure projects that support inclusive and sustainable growth.

“To achieve our vision we set up the Urban Growth Company (UGC) to maximise development and investment into creating more opportunities for Solihull residents.

“I’d like to thank Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, all involved at the Council and the Urban Growth Company for helping to make this possible. Through working tirelessly over many years with partner organisations we’ve been able to ensure our bold vision for this part of the borough comes to fruition.

“To have the Hub – one of Europe’s best connected destinations right on our doorstep is such an immense opportunity and we have been determined to make the most of it since day one.

“The Hub will create the environment to support 70,000 new and safeguarded jobs, up to 5000 homes and 650,000 square metres of commercial space.

“I’m proud to see Solihull consistently punching above its weight nationally.”


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