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The recent confirmation of the routes which High Speed 2 will follow as it extends beyond Birmingham to the North West and East Midlands & Yorkshire has underlined the potential of the project to generate new construction work across the country. Phase 2 of the high speed line will run to Manchester via Crewe and to Leeds. But through connections to the existing mainline network, HS2 will also dramatically cut journey times – and create development opportunities – to other cities, including Liverpool and York. Phase 1 from London to Birmingham is set to open by 2026 with a second leg extending the line to Crew by 2027. So far, the initial contracts have been covering the main civil engineering work on the first phase of HS2 between London and Birmingham – including the construction of tunnels, bridges, embankments and viaducts at an estimated cost of £126 million per km. Together these are worth some £6.6 billion and according to the chairman of HS2, they will support 16,000 jobs and create opportunities for thousands of SMEs. The big winners on the various stages of the projects are consortiums involving Balfour Beatty/Vinci; Carillion/Eiffage/Kier; Bouygue/Volker/McAlpine and Skanska/Costain/Strabag. The publication of the key routes for phase 2 of the line identify the towns and cities which can be expected to see a wave of new development of homes and businesses to take advantage of the new line, ahead of the expected completion of the network in 2033. A separate spur will now take the line into Sheffield, (where around 50 homes and businesses are set to be demolished) avoiding the Meadowhall Shopping Centre and into Leeds. On the Western leg, a new hub may be built at Crewe and high speed services could extend to Stoke. A spur to Wigan would link the line to the existing West Coast mainline and on to Scotland. According to a 2015 report from Savills, the Birmingham financial and tech sector will receive a major boost from HS2 as firms could potentially save £8,000 pa in office costs and £10,000 in salaries by moving a position from central London to the West Midlands. The new Birmingham station is expected to be a spur to new development in Eastside, extending the city centre eastwards around Curzon Street. The new railway could also give a boost to the city’s housing sector which is forecast to require 80,000 new homes between 2011 and 2031. The confirmation of the route is also likely to encourage development around Manchester’s Piccadilly Central Station. The city council has identified land around the station which could provide 625,000 sq m of commercial space, 100,000 sq m of retail and leisure space and 4,500 new homes. In Leeds, the plan for the new station could encourage the development of some 136 hectares of land on the city’s South Bank, including Leeds Dock. It could also support the almost-5,000 homes which the city council believes the city needs each year. Meanwhile, the prospect of more rail-related development have also been boosted by transport secretary Chris Grayling’s support for the £30 billion Crossrail 2 project where work could start in the early 2020s. Glenigan has been tracking HS2 for just over 10 years and following recent announcements and additional projects `along the line’, relevant projects have been added to the database. The route has been split into South, Central and North. These have been split a further seven separate Lots S1, S2, C1, C2, C3 and N1 and N1 detailing each section and the various contractors’ consortiums which will undertake each section on work worth a total of £6.6 billion. There are also four railway hubs included in the HS2 covering Euston (project id. 12081779), Old Oak Common (id. 17142792), Birmingham Interchange (id. 17142809) and Birmingham Curzon Street (id. 17142804). All four hubs are out to tender for an architect/design role with an appointment expected early 2018. Phase 2 will see the Y shaped line from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds now at a cost of £21.2bn, with a completion scheduled for 2032/33 (see project id. 12016346). HS2 has also awarded a six year HS2 Professional Services Framework contract worth between £250M and £350M, which entailed preparatory work for Parliamentary procedures that would be needed if the project did move forward (see project id. 11325760).

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