Economic analysis of the areas close to HS2’s three hubs in the West Midlands – Curzon Street Station in central Birmingham, Interchange Station in Solihull, and the Washwood Heath Depot and Network Integrated Control Centre – shows dramatic increases in regeneration and investment in the last six years.

Since Royal Assent was granted for the railway in 2017, the number of planning applications seen in a 1.5 mile radius around these three major HS2 hubs has increased by two-thirds.

Over the same timescale, the area of total planned floorspace – including commercial and residential – has increased by 200%, and the planned number of new homes has increased by almost 500% – from 10,000 to 55,000 homes.

According to independent research commissioned by HS2, this increase in investment activity far outstrips any rises in planned development outside of HS2’s impact zones and has occurred despite economic shocks caused by the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic. The rate of increase in planned housing within HS2’s impact area has been 14 times greater than elsewhere in the region, with the uplift in total planned floorspace over four times greater.

Since 2017, the construction value of major new projects in HS2’s three impact zones has increased by 240% – from £4.5bn to £15.4bn. This is further evidence of increased investment and activity around the three HS2 hubs.

You can read the full report here: From Trains to Cranes – HS2 and the West Midlands Development Boom

This building boom is contrary to activity outside of HS2’s impact zones, where the construction value of new planned projects has decreased by 16% in the same period – from £19.3bn to £16.3bn.

The numbers and values of projects since 2017 are also much higher compared to an equivalent period before HS2 was given the green light in Parliament.

Within its three impact zones, it is estimated that HS2 will be responsible for the generation of 41,000 additional homes, 704,000 square metres of new floorspace and 30,835 new jobs.

Putting this in the context of the whole country, since 2017 the West Midlands has been the highest performing attractor of inward investment outside London and the South East, with the number of projects it attracted in 2022/23 second only to the capital.