A major infrastructure project as part of the new HS2 Interchange station in Solihull was handed a £50 million boost in the Chancellor’s Budget.
The capital, which will be matched by a further £45 million from regional partners, will be used to develop a multi-storey car park next to the new station 1.2 miles east of Birmingham Airport.
The project will enable transport chiefs to build a multi-storey car park rather than the surface level scheme which had been included in the original plans for the site next to the M42.
It would have seen 7,400 parking spaces built over 22 acres of greenbelt land.
This was something Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and the Urban Growth Company, which was set up to maximise the benefits of HS2 coming to the borough, had been campaigning to avoid.
Securing funding for the multi-storey car park means that land can now be used for other residential and commercial purposes as part of a major regeneration next to the station called Arden Cross.
The 340-acre scheme is expected to create and safeguard 70,000 jobs and build thousands of news houses and square feet of commercial space.
Solihull Council leader Coun Ian Courts said: “It’s fantastic news for Solihull to secure such a significant investment in the Budget.
“This vital financial injection provides the stimulus for us to begin to realise the incredible development opportunity.
“Constructing a multi-storey car park as opposed to tarmacking swathes of valuable land allows us to maximise the benefits HS2 brings directly to Solihull and its residents.”
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Urban Growth Company’s chairman Nick Brown added: “Securing this funding is a tremendous achievement and a transformational step in delivering ambitious economic growth.
“We can now build the infrastructure needed to support the delivery of jobs, homes and growth, creating the best connected place for business, leisure and living in Europe.
“The Urban Growth Company has been working closely with its public and private sector partners for several years to develop an alternative solution to the land-hungry surface car parking originally planned for the HS2 Interchange.
“We worked hard to build early consensus that this alternative multi-storey parking proposal was the only way we would truly be able to deliver the full economic, social and environmental benefits we know to be possible.”
* In a separate announcement in the Budget, the Chancellor has committed £59 million towards the construction of five new stations in Willenhall and Darlaston, in Walsall, and Kings Heath, Moseley and Hazelwell in south Birmingham. Planning consent is already in place for all five.
HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson said: “HS2 is a vital part of our commitment to build back better from the covid-19 pandemic, creating new skilled jobs and regenerating our towns and cities.
“Today’s announcement of £50 million to boost economic growth around the new HS2 Interchange station in Solihull will do just that, unlocking land for new businesses and homes with access to our world-beating high-speed network.”