Joint venture to build HS2’s Curzon Street station in jobs boost
A joint venture to build the landmark High Speed 2 rail station at Birmingham’s Curzon Street site will be a “major shot in the arm” for the construction sector and bring in “hundreds” of jobs, the region’s mayor has said.
HS2 Ltd confirmed on Monday that two companies – Mace and Dragados – will work together to build the city’s new central transport hub, in a £570 million deal.
The engineering firms will co-operate on the two construction stages; finalising the detailed design and building the station.
The station is being built to run as net-zero carbon once open, incorporating eco-friendly design and sustainable technologies like rainwater capture.
It will have 2,800m2 (30,000 sq ft) of solar panels on the canopies, which cover the platform.
The building is designed to meet an industry-recognised BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) standard classification of Excellent – which is best practice for the industry.
Buildings certified under the standard are hailed for cutting energy use in construction and running, reducing waste, and minimising impact on the natural environment.
This is a huge moment for Birmingham and for HS2
Both firms are experienced in delivering big-ticket projects, having worked on Battersea Power Station, Mumbai International Airport’s terminal two build and Spain’s high speed rail network, including the Madrid Atocha and Barcelona Sants stations.
The companies are also working together in building HS2’s London Euston terminus.
Mark Thurston, HS2 Ltd’s chief executive, said: “Birmingham Curzon Street is right at the heart of the HS2 project, providing a fantastic terminus for trains running right into the heart of the city centre.
“The station will play a vital role in the long-term economic future of the West Midlands, creating hundreds of jobs during construction and boosting the region after the pandemic.”
He added the joint venture firms had “incredible experience” on high-speed rail projects in the UK and Europe and welcomed them to the project.
Andy Street, the newly re-elected West Midlands mayor, said: “HS2 is at the heart of my plans to create 100,000 jobs in just two years to help the West Midlands recover from the coronavirus pandemic, and so I am absolutely thrilled by today’s news.
“Not only is this a major shot in the arm for our region’s construction sector that was performing so well pre-Covid, but the building of Curzon Street is also set to create hundreds of jobs.
“That’s local jobs for local people at such a difficult time, and I will ensure we continue to run construction training courses so residents can get the skills they need to take on these new roles.
“I’m also excited to see the commitment from HS2 ltd that the station will be net-zero, helping the West Midlands in its battle against the climate emergency and in our aim to become carbon neutral by 2041.”
The site is a key part of the HS2 project, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson using the area as a backdrop in February 2020 to announce the national go-ahead for the keynote infrastructure project.
HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson said: “This is a huge moment for Birmingham and for HS2.
“The brand new, world class HS2 station at Birmingham Curzon Street will place the city at the beating heart of the new HS2 network.
“It marks a major investment in Birmingham’s future as we build back better from Covid-19 – breathing new life into the city centre, supporting hundreds of new skilled jobs and helping forge better connections across the whole country.”
The station’s design, inspired by the great arched roofs of the golden age of rail in the Victorian era, was drafted by WSP and Grimshaw Architects.
Site clearance works have already been finished, together with a massive archaeological programme – which unearthed the world’s oldest railway roundhouse.
Once fully operational, the station’s passengers will be offered nine high speed trains an hour travelling to the north and south.
The site will also be accessed by the Midland Metro – which runs alongside and beneath the station.
There is also set to be parking for up to 550 bicycles.