Business leaders in Greater Birmingham have hailed another huge step forward for the HS2 project after the award of £6.6bn worth of contracts was announced.
Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling today confirmed the contract awards that will create up to 16,000 jobs.
It means work on Phase One of the HS2 route, from London to Birmingham, will begin on schedule.
UK companies Carillion, Costain and Balfour Beatty are among the consortia who will build tunnels, bridges and embankments on the first stretch of the new high speed rail line.
In addition, the Phase Two routes to Manchester and Leeds are set to be announced later today, placing Birmingham at the heart of the national HS2 network.
Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Paul Faulkner said: ““It’s great to see the main works civil contracts being awarded for Phase One of the project.
“Not only will construction of the project start on time, it will also create a raft of new jobs and supply chain opportunities for our local firms.
“We also welcome the news that the final routes for the Leeds and Manchester branches are due to be announced today.
“It means that Phase Two of the project will embed Birmingham at the heart of a modern and innovative transport network which will help rebalance the national economy and bring greater prosperity to the region as a whole.
“On a wider point, the news will only add to the air of confidence that we are seeing in the region at the moment. We will be analysing this and other key trends at our Q2 Quarterly Business Report launch event on 18 July, focusing on investment in Greater Birmingham.”