Press Release

Balfour Beatty welcomes start of full construction on HS2

4 September 2020


Balfour Beatty, alongside HS2 Ltd, today celebrates the formal start of construction on Europe’s largest infrastructure project –  HS2, the state-of-the-art, high-speed line critical for the UK’s low carbon transport future providing much-needed rail capacity across the country, and integral to rail projects in the North and Midlands.  

The move from enabling works to full construction also heralds a ‘jobs boom’ on the project and further demonstrates the value HS2 will bring to the economy in the post-COVID-19 economic environment.

Having received Notice to Proceed earlier this year, Balfour Beatty VINCI, along with its supply chain partners, is due to be one of the biggest recruiters in the West Midlands over the next two years with up to 7,000 skilled jobs required to complete the 90 kilometer stretch between the Long Itchington Wood Green tunnel in Warwickshire to the West Coast Main Line tie-in near Lichfield in Staffordshire, as well as the major train junction into central Birmingham at Curzon Street.

In addition, the Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA joint venture will employ a workforce of approximately 1,400 to support the construction of the Old Oak Common Station in London. As well as providing 280 apprenticeship positions, the joint venture is committed to attracting local candidates, of all ages and backgrounds

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said: “HS2 is at the heart of our plans to build back better – and with construction now formally underway, it’s set to create around 22,000 new jobs.

“As the spine of our country’s transport network, the project will be vital in boosting connectivity between our towns and cities.

“But HS2’s transformational potential goes even further. By creating hundreds of apprenticeships and thousands of skilled jobs, HS2 will fire up economic growth and help to rebalance opportunity across this country for years to come.”

Mark Thurston, CEO of HS2 Ltd said: “This is a hugely exciting moment in the progress of HS2. After 10 years of development and preparatory work, today we can formally announce the start of full construction, unlocking thousands of jobs and supply chain opportunities across the project.

“We are already seeing the benefits that building HS2 is bringing to the UK economy in the short term, but it’s important to emphasise how transformative the railway will be for our country when operational. With the start of construction, the reality of high speed journeys joining up Britain’s biggest cities in the North and Midlands and using that connectivity to help level up the country has just moved a step closer.”

Michael Dyke, Managing Director for Balfour Beatty VINCI, said: “HS2 presents a significant opportunity for the West Midlands, with comprehensive plans to attract and retain the talented workforce required to deliver one of the most ambitious infrastructure schemes ever delivered in the UK now underway.

“Working alongside HS2, local authorities and charities, we are committed to offering people of all ages and backgrounds across the West Midlands the chance to benefit from the wide range of employment opportunities available through the scheme, including numerous apprenticeship and graduate positions.”

Nigel Russell, Project Director for Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA said: “HS2 is critical to the economic resilience of the UK and essential in driving the skills agenda forward; providing a variety of employment opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds, including a number of graduate and apprenticeship positions.

“As works begin to ramp up at Old Oak Common, we are now turning our attention to attracting, training and retaining the best talent, offering the opportunity to work on the largest new station built in the UK in over 100 years and play a key role in delivering Britain’s first low carbon, high speed railway.”


Media enquiries to:

Vivienne Dunn
Balfour Beatty
+44 (0)203 810 2345 | follow us @balfourbeatty

All non-media related enquiries should be directed to +44 (0)20 7216 6800 or

Notes to editors:

  • Balfour Beatty (com) is a leading international infrastructure group. With 26,000 employees, we provide innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. We finance, develop, build and maintain complex infrastructure such as transportation, power and utility systems, social and commercial buildings.
  • Our main geographies are the UK, US and Hong Kong. Over the last 110 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, Hong Kong’s first Zero Carbon building, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the US and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

Vivienne Dunn

Senior Media & PR Manager