UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has opened headquarters in Birmingham for the proposed HS2 high-speed rail project.

Around 1,000 staff, including engineers and procurement specialists, will be employed at HS2 Ltd’s premises in Birmingham’s Colmore Business District.

The opening coincides with a Commons Select Committee hearing final petitions related to the HS2 Phase One hybrid Bill.

Authorising line construction between Birmingham and London, the HS2 Phase One hybrid Bill is expected to achieve Royal Assent by December, while construction is scheduled to start next year.

"The arrival of HS2 in Birmingham will play a vital role in boosting jobs, skills, economic growth and regeneration across the city."

McLoughlin said: "HS2 will rebalance our economy, helping make the Midlands an ‘engine for growth’. The official opening of the headquarters here in Birmingham is proof that HS2 is already boosting jobs and skills, and will continue to do so as we head towards construction.

"This week, we have taken another step towards putting spades in the ground as the Commons Select Committee has been hearing the final petitions on the Phase One Bill. I would like to pay tribute to members of the Committee, as well as those who have brought forward petitions."

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Expected to open in 2026, phase one of the project will see new stations at Curzon Street and Birmingham Interchange.

Connections north to Crewe will open in 2027, with the lines to Leeds and Manchester scheduled to be completed by 2033.

The first phase between London and the West Midlands is estimated to support up to 14,600 construction jobs, 2,200 permanent operations and maintenance jobs, and 30,300 jobs supported by development around HS2 stations in Euston, Old Oak Common, Birmingham Interchange and Birmingham Curzon Street.

HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins said: "The arrival of HS2 in Birmingham will play a vital role in boosting jobs, skills, economic growth and regeneration across the city."

Image: HS2 officially opens Birmingham office at Two Snow Hill, with a visit from Patrick McLaughlin, secretary of state for Transport. Photo: courtesy of Department for Transport.