Arup has put HS2 at the centre of a master plan designed to create a new economic hub in the West Midlands.

UK Central (UKC) is a proposed major development to the south east of Birmingham, encompassing Solihull, Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Jaguar Land Rover and the Blythe Valley Business Park.

The proposals incorporate Britain’s high-speed rail programme in an attempt to establish the area as a ‘gateway’ to the West Midlands.

The master plan claims that it could create 100,000 jobs and boost the region’s annual revenue by £5.1 billion.

The development is split into five segments, one of which, the Hub, includes a new station for HS2 alongside the NEC, LG Arena and the international airport.

Jerome Frost, project director, Arup, said: “The UK Central masterplan builds on Solihull’s tremendous strengths, offering a fabulous quality of life, connections to around 70 per cent of the UK’s population in under 90 minutes and a supportive investment environment that already stands out in its performance over the last two decades.”

The master plan was commissioned by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).

Andy Street, chairman of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said in a statement: “This opportunity is undoubtedly one of the LEP’s ‘big ideas’ as it has a unique combination of advantages for business growth.

“Investments in Birmingham Airport and the arrival of the HS2 network makes it vital that we put the arrangements in place now to capitalise on the improved offer that UK Central will present to investors.”

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