The Northern Gateway Partnership today welcomed the announcement by Secretary of State, Chris Grayling, providing further details on Phase 2 of HS2, including a commitment to provide further funding to support the development of a Growth Strategy for the Northern Gateway.

The ground-breaking Northern Gateway Development Zone brings together two Local Enterprise Partnerships (Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, Cheshire and Warrington) and seven local councils, with the explicit mission of breaking down the barriers to business growth and enterprise and driving the maximum level of sustainable, inclusive growth from the stimulus of HS2 investment.

With HS2 connectivity, astride the M6, and focused around the key urban growth pillars of Crewe, Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford, along with extensive connectivity benefits to Warrington, North Wales and East Midlands, the Northern Gateway Development Zone fuses the economic powerhouses of the north and the midlands. The area’s unrivalled 360⁰ connectivity will be further strengthened through investment in HS2. Through that investment, and delivery of the wider multi-connectivity that has been identified, the Northern Gateway has evidenced potential to deliver 100,000 new homes and 120,000 new jobs.

Jackie Sadek, Independent Chair of the Partnership, said the Northern Gateway is in the perfect place to become the UK’s premier growth hotspot.

“We are opening up a new and rich vein of opportunity for business right at the heart of the national transport network. It is perfectly positioned at the heart of the UK economy. It really is ‘the place where the UK connects’.

“The Partnership welcome’s today’s announcement which reaffirms the Government’s continuing commitment to realising the potential for HS2 to unleash an explosion of jobs and growth in the heart of the UK. One year on since its launch the Northern Gateway project is no longer just a vision – it is a fact.

“Partners are ensuring the area is HS2 ready, have a clear vision of the associated regional connectivity required to ensure HS2 brings maximum benefit to the area. The Partnership is building a solid and substantial regional Growth Strategy, ensuring the benefits of growth – industrial, commercial, housing, retail and leisure - are maximised across administrative, political and regional boundaries.

“This initiative is responding directly to the Prime Minister’s call for more coherent and inclusive industrial strategy which delivers for all – not just the few.”

David Frost CBE DL, Chair of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP, said

“The Northern Gateway Partnership is working hard to ensure that the investment in HS2, combined with strategic investment in regional and local infrastructure, delivers economic growth and brings more and better jobs to our region. Today’s announcement provides even greater certainty and strengthens our ability to use HS2 as a springboard for further growth. We are already focused on boosting skills, jobs and business opportunities to create thriving and economically flourishing local communities that will be best placed to take full advantage of HS2.”

Christine Gaskell MBE DL, Chair of Cheshire and Warrington LEP, said:

“HS2 will be transformational for our economy and by working in partnership across boundaries and borders, our approach will ensure that we deliver the maximum economic benefit across our areas on a nationally significant scale. Today’s announcement represents another step forward in enabling us to realise our vision for the Northern Gateway”