Special event to reveal business attitudes to high speed rail line

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THE Yorkshire Post will reveal the findings of a major survey into business attitudes towards HS2 at a special event in Leeds next week.

The title teamed up with the Sheffield office of Nabarro to find out how the region’s companies view the controversial high-speed rail link.

Experts from the law firm will talk the audience through the research. A panel of business leaders will then debate the findings.

These will be fed directly into the Government’s HS2 Growth Task Force, set up to maximise economic opportunities.

Christopher Bowes, partner at Nabarro, said: “The survey is producing some surprising findings.

“The debate will see business people from across Yorkshire, many with clear pro and anti-HS2 views, discuss whether HS2 will deliver genuine economic benefits across the region.

“It’s a landmark issue that affects all of us in the region and we are looking forward to a lively debate.”

The panellists include Gerald Jennings, portfolio director of Land Securities, Roger Marsh, chairman of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, Paul Chapman, communications director of HS2, Stuart Green, a Sheffield businessman, Vincent Middleton, chairman of Newburgh Engineering, and Ben Still, chief executive of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

Planning for the new stations at Leeds and Sheffield should begin next year with a view to construction work commencing as early as 2020, the new head of HS2 has said.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Sir David Higgins said he is “passionate” about bringing the benefits of the new £50bn rail line to the north of England as quickly as possible as he embarks upon a two-month review of the project for Government.

The survey, carried out last month, gave business people the opportunity to share their thoughts on whether HS2 will deliver economic benefits to the region, as well as how their own companies might be affected.

The event takes place on Tuesday, January 21 at Aspire in Leeds. A limited number of places are available. To attend, please email events@nabarro.com by Monday.