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Leeds, 15th November 2016 - Leeds Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the announcement today of the route for the HS2 high-speed rail link. The announcement sets out the route for phase 2b from Crewe and Birmingham onwards to Leeds and Manchester. Gerald Jennings, President of Leeds Chamber of Commerce, said “HS2 will be the biggest single investment in the north of England in a generation and will transform rail journeys between some of the UK’s largest cities. Today’s announcement brings a degree of certainty which in turn will encourage further business investment in the region. HS2 will improve connectivity and create greater capacity for increased rail patronage something we know influences where businesses locate. A track is yet to be laid and already we have seen positive moves from developers who see Leeds and the wider city region as a place to invest. We are also pleased to see reference to Northern Powerhouse Rail, ensuring that HS2 is not built in isolation but that thought is given to future East-West connectivity and the creation of a high speed network across the north of England.” Jeff Pearey, JLL’s Lead Director for Yorkshire and North East and recently appointed chair of the Leeds Chamber Property Forum, added: “This announcement is welcome news and whilst the arrival of the first trains is still a number of years away, as a city we must ensure we are HS2 ready. The City Council is already consulting on plans for South Bank Leeds which will effectively double the size of the city centre, and the recent appointment of the consortium which will develop the new enhanced station, known as the Yorkshire Hub, is also very exciting. I believe this is a once in a generation opportunity to enhance and contribute to regional and national prosperity and we must ensure that we have the skills base to maximise the economic benefits.” HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail will provide high speed links east-west and north-south into Leeds City Centre, providing improved capacity and connectivity across the North of England and onwards to the Midlands and London.
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