Economic benefits & jobs

HS2 has the potential to transform the economic shape of the UK, connecting cities including Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds and providing them with opportunities to increase their growth potential.

  • HS2 will generate £59.8 billion in user benefits when the entire network is completed, as well as £13.3 billion in wider economic benefits. High Speed One is expected to result in regeneration at Ebbsfleet, Stratford and Kings Cross worth £10 billion, plus wider economic benefits of £3.8 billion (read the report here).
  • The Government is committed to managing the cost of HS2 and to securing the maximum value for money. The latest available estimates, using the standard methodology, suggest that HS2 will return over £2 worth of benefit for every £1 invested. However, this methodology assumes that demand for rail travel stops growing in 2036, three years after the opening of Phase Two. If this halt in demand occurs further into the future, the returns from HS2 will be much higher. For example, if demand keeps growing for another 13 years to 2049, the returns are likely to be double the standard estimate.

HS2 and regional rail enhancements will boost the West Midlands economy, creating 22,000 permanent jobs

KPMG study for Centro

Jobs & skills

The first phase of HS2 alone, from London to the West Midlands, is expected to support about 40,000 jobs, figures which do not include broader employment growth supported by the new line and the use of released capacity on existing routes:

Phase One job creation
  • 9,000 construction jobs;
  • 1,500 permanent jobs;
  • 30,000 jobs in station redevelopment areas in Euston, Old Oak Common, Birmingham Interchange and Birmingham Eastside.
Phase Two job creation

Phase Two is forecast to support the creation of 48,700-70,300 jobs, as well as 5,200-7,600 houses.

Jobs in construction: 10,000

Operation and maintenance jobs: 1,400

Western leg

Station-supported employment: Manchester Piccadilly 29,700-42,900 jobs; Manchester Airport 300-700

Station-supported housing: 3,100-4,100 (Manchester Piccadilly)

Eastern leg

Station-supported employment: East Midlands Hub 1,500-1,600 jobs; Sheffield Meadowhall 4,000-5,400; Leeds New Lane 13,200-19,700

Station-supported housing: East Midlands Hub 150-800; Sheffield Meadowhall 250-300; Leeds New Lane 1,700-2,400

Support from business

According to the 2012 CBI/KPMG infrastructure survey:

  • Over 80% of businesses state that quality and reliability of transport infrastructure are significant in investment decisions
  • 61% are concerned that the UK’s transport infrastructure lags behind international competitors. 
  • On balance, 66% expect HS2 to have a positive impact on UK private sector growth

HS2 will also offer British businesses the opportunity to develop new experience and expertise in this sector, acting as a springboard for further work overseas. As countries around the world increasingly invest in high speed rail, we will all feel the benefit as more British firms get a slice of this growing industry.