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Wednesday 3 December 2014

HS2 vision for Cheshire East under spotlight at major rail conference


Key players from the region’s railway industry will come together this Thursday (December 4) to outline the benefits of the proposed HS2 North West hub station.

Cheshire East Council Leader, Councillor Michael Jones, rail enthusiast and music mogul Pete Waterman and Network Rail’s Rupert Walker will be just some of the main speakers at the Next Generation Rail Cheshire conference at Crewe Hall.

The event is being independently hosted by ModernKulture (correct) and will provide a platform for Cheshire East and colleagues to outline their vision for HS2 in Cheshire and Staffordshire.

HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins is advising the Government that a new station in Crewe should be built and operational by 2027, five years earlier than first expected. Journey times between Crewe and London would be cut to just 55 minutes, 35 minutes quicker than the fastest current journey.

Cllr Jones said: “The HS2 North West hub will produce 64,000 jobs and boost the North West’s economic output by £3.5 billion per annum. This is a tremendous opportunity for our region to thrive and prosper as an economic powerhouse.

“The hub will create new jobs, growth and prosperity not only for Cheshire, but the surrounding area, including Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. During the conference, I will be reiterating this Council’s desire to work with our nearer neighbours in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire to ensure our region gets maximum benefit from this historic opportunity.”

He added: “I look forward to meeting our colleagues for Thursday’s event, who all share this Council’s vision to reap the economic rewards of HS2, which would have a transformational effect across the wider area.”

Pete Waterman will talk about how the country can build on its Victorian rail heritage to make the network fit for modern day travel needs.

Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)’s Christine Gaskell will be talking about the huge economic benefits expected in Cheshire from the HS2 investment and Rupert Walker will discuss how high-speed rail will create a better rail network for Britain.

Mathew Conway, Director of OSL Global, will also be offering insight into the roles of University Technical Colleges (UTCs) and OSL’s own training facility RETA (Royal Exchange Training Academy) that will be a host venue for industry-led projects.

Other subjects up for discussion will be around minimising the construction impacts of HS2 and addressing the rail ‘skills challenge’.

Martyn Parris, Managing Director of ModernKulture, said: “Next Generation Rail Cheshire will see a dynamic range of expert speakers share their vision on the socio-economic benefits of the HS2 hub.”

For more information on the conference and a detailed schedule of speakers, please visit

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