Local leaders show support for rail plans in Hereford

March 13, 2023

Sub-national transport body, Midlands Connect, met with MP Jesse Norman and local council and business leaders to celebrate plans which would double the number of rail services between Hereford and Birmingham.

The Midlands Rail Hub is the region’s biggest and most ambitious rail improvement scheme – a £1.5bn blueprint for faster, better and more frequent connections across the Midlands.

Under the plans, one additional train per hour will run between Hereford and Birmingham Moor Street, passing through Worcester. This will be 10 minutes faster than the current service, thanks to faster routing into Birmingham. The new train service to Hereford will provide around two million additional seats to and from Birmingham each year.

Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford, said “As the local MP, I want railways and public transport to be as accessible and efficient as possible. Midlands Rail Hub will serve the people of Hereford and contribute to this goal.”

Karen Heppenstall, Head of Rail at Midlands Connect commented“It’s great to come to Hereford to promote the Midlands Rail Hub. The proposals will benefit residents of both Hereford and broader Herefordshire. I’m glad we have the support of local politicians and enterprise.”

Last year Midlands Connect submitted an Outline Business Case for the Midlands Rail Hub to government, asking for funding to develop a Full Business Case and get building works started by 2025.

Karen and Jesse were joined by Clive Brooks, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chambers of Commerce; Sonia Roberts, Marches LEP; and Cllr John Harrington.

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk | email: enquiries@marchesgrowthhub.co.uk.

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: www.marchescareershub.co.uk | email: info@marchescareershub.co.uk

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact: gary.spence@shropshire.gov.uk

For any finance queries please contact: michelle.hodgkiss@shropshire.gov.uk

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact: Camilla.Mulholland@evelyn.com

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