The Midlands must have no limits on its ambitions to develop “the goldmine” of the UK Central Hub, a project set to bring more than 70,000 jobs and £6 billion a year to the regional economy.
The UK Central Hub is a 20-year project to connect and develop the area around Birmingham Airport, Jaguar Land Rover, the NEC, Birmingham International station and the coming HS2 Interchange station.
Key components in The Hub’s development are the £350m redevelopment of Birmingham International, proposals for a £140m Metro link to North Solihull and Birmingham, and the Sprint express bus service which will eventually run to the centres of Birmingham and Solihull.
UGC managing director Jonathan Bretheron said, fully realised, the site could create 70,000 jobs and add £6.2 billion a year to the Midlands’ economy.
“The ambition is that The Hub will be more than just a transport node which people pass through: it will become a destination in its own right, a place which attracts world class investment and development. But if it’s to be all that we hope for we have to be optimistic, be excited and proud about the project – and push, push, push for the best outcome,” he added.
Interest in The Hub has soared in recent days on the back of two announcements. One of them is Arden Cross, the 346-acre greenfield development site at the heart of the project, which announced a £3 billion masterplan that sets out ambitions to build six million sq ft of office space, creating and securing 27,000 jobs.
Regional transport body Midlands Connect also revealed its £180 million Airport Connectivity rail improvement scheme. It would create hourly direct connections to Birmingham International and Coventry railway stations from Derby, Yorkshire and the North East, bringing in up to two million passengers a year.