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Birmingham to be home to UK’s only HS2 connected airport
The countdown to the opening of the first branch of the UK’s flagship high speed rail network – HS2 – in 2026 continues apace. The network will reduce journey times between key UK cities significantly, with Birmingham to London taking just 49 minutes by train. According to the AA Route Planner, the same journey would take 2 hours 28 minutes by car at present and with the road network getting busier every year (while infrastructure improvements do little to address traffic congestion), it’s a fair assumption that it will take longer by 2026.
Birmingham’s position on the HS2 network is significant for a number of reasons. The UK’s second city, it has seen a number of leading companies defect there from London in recent years, as Birmingham’s affordability simply makes more sense than running a business in London. Furthermore, Birmingham will be home to the UK’s only HS2 connected airport when the network launches in 2026.
“Birmingham is in an incredibly strong position already in terms of the business and talent that the city is attracting. In seven to eight years’ time, when it has the only HS2 connected airport in the country, the city’s standing will be even higher, driving economic growth and pulling in yet more foreign direct investment as a result of its excellent credentials.”
Plans driving economic growth in Birmingham
Birmingham Airport has planned for some £500 million of new investment in order to “modernise and extend our facilities so they are fit for the future and to interconnect with HS2.” The airport’s draft Master Plan 2018 is currently undergoing consultation, as the transport hub prepares for the increased passenger numbers that it is expected to receive over the coming decade. The principle international gateway in the Midlands, the airport is already well connected in terms of the road and rail network, with HS2 set to cement that position.
Birmingham Airport has seen passenger number growth of 40% over the past five years and is now serving some 13 million passengers per year. By 2033, that figure is expected to rise to 18 million. As such, the draft Master Plan 2018 maps out how the airport will enhance the efficiency for its airlines and partners while improving the customer experience and capitalising on its economic potential.
“In the years ahead, we will be working with Birmingham Airport to develop trade links with Commonwealth countries as we look to expand prosperity for the city and region”
Paul Faulkner, CEO, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce
Birmingham’s world-class experience
The planned changes include a major extension to the existing terminal building, along with an enhanced check-in area and upgraded baggage sortation facilities. Overall, the extension will increase the size of the departure lounge by around 40%. In keeping with its status as the only HS2 connected airport in the country, the facilities will offer world-class travel experience to those passing through the airport on their way to a wide range of domestic and international destinations.
Such plans benefit all those who live or have a financial stake in Birmingham, from property investment companies to individual investors who own homes there. Buy to let property UK opportunities over the coming years will focus on regional cities, with factors like a £500 million airport upgrade and the arrival of the UK’s fastest rail network likely to make a significant difference to home values.
Exciting Birmingham investment opportunities
Investors in developments such as Westminster Works are some of those who are most likely to benefit. Home to 220 stylish, loft-style apartments, the development allows investors to purchase a property from just £168,000, with net yields of 5%, within the HS2 Southern Gateway regeneration zone. Regeneration work connected with HS2 is widespread and the area of Digbeth around the Curzon Street HS2 station is enjoying significant enhancements. Westminster Works sits at the heart of those enhancements, creating an exciting opportunity both for property investors and for future residents.
“In terms of future plans, Westminster Works is in a prime position to enjoy all that Birmingham has to offer over the coming years. This is a superb development, offering high-spec homes with outstanding facilities, from the impressive rooftop terrace to the concierge service. Big plans are in place for this area of Birmingham over the next decade and Westminster Works has been designed to offer homes that raise the bar for local residents as their neighbourhood grows and develops.”
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