Manchester is to get two new High Speed Rail stations, at the airport and Piccadilly as part of plans to upgrade the country’s rail network.
The government confirmed the route for the second phase of the high-speed rail line will run from Crewe to Manchester and from the West Midlands to Leeds.
The Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, announced the HS2 line will include stops at Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport with plans to also develop the two stations.
High Speed Rail, in combination with Northern Powerhouse Rail, is considered vital for increased capacity on Britain’s rail network, and will ensure transformational connectivity between the North’s city regions.
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) estimates that reducing travel times and increased business productivity through improved connectivity, will bring up to 180,000 new jobs to the region by 2040
The development of Manchester Piccadilly could also see around 4,500 new homes, and commercial and retail space built in the city centre.
An integrated HS2 station at Manchester Airport would improve the airport’s accessibility and capitalise on the opportunity of the investment programme at Terminal 2.
It would also increase the airport’s importance as an international gateway and deepen the economic impacts of the Airport City Enterprise Zone, which is set to attract global businesses and is currently estimated to provide 35,000 jobs.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Today’s announcement is welcome confirmation that Greater Manchester will play a key role in HS2, and become a hub for rail improvements that will help support a sound economic future for the whole of the north through Northern Powerhouse Rail.
“This should be seen as a reinforcement in the confidence of the region’s economic potential and these infrastructure improvements are the tools we need reach unlock that latent energy.
“We’ll continue to work closely with government to help support the project and begin to drive the major transformational projects that will support HS2 in Greater Manchester.”
The first phase of the £56bn railway is due to open in December 2026 and will see trains travel at high speed between London and Birmingham before continuing on the existing West Coast Main Line.
A second Y-shaped phase, taking the high-speed line to Yorkshire, north-west England, and beyond, is due to be completed by about 2032-33.