Gisela Stuart, MP for Birmingham, Edgbaston, will chair a one-off debate at the University of Birmingham this week on what HS2 will mean for the Midlands.

The event is sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University - the centre for interdisciplinary research combining expertise from across the University and organised in collaboration with the Lunar Society, the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies and Future Network West Midlands.  Together they are bringing together experts in the field to debate how the controversial plans might shape the Midlands.

The distinguished geographer and planner Professor Sir Peter Hall will deliver a keynote address at the event, at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at 4pm on Friday 8 November.

Drawing on his long engagement with transport in urban development, Sir Peter will set some specific challenges for the West Midlands. Key themes for the debate will include:  regeneration and economic development of the regions outside London including the West Midlands:

• How will HS2 regenerate the regions including the West Midlands? 

• Does HS2 mean that the regions are more dependent on London and the South East or less? 

• Which sectors of the economy are set to benefit?

• What do the regions need to do to maximise the potential of HS2 and spread the benefits of beyond the areas and economic sectors immediately served?  

Dr Peter Lee, Acting Director of the Centre for urban and Regional Studies, said: “Whilst there appears to be a growing consensus  the debate has focused on the economic case for HS2 without much specific detail on the mechanisms of delivering those benefits and how a region such as the West Midlands can harness the potential.  We hope for a lively debate which focuses on some of the practical issues of delivering economic benefits to the region and to consider also what alternative transport investments can bring to maximise the regeneration potential of HS2”

Prof David Bailey, Professor of International Business Strategy and Economics at Coventry University, will be among the panel guests to respond to Sir Peter before the debate is opened up to a wider discussion with the audience.


For media enquiries, please contact Samantha Williams, University of Birmingham press office on 0121 414 6029 or email

• Journalists are invited to attend the event

• The debate will begin promptly at 4.00pm and run until 5.30pm, followed by a drinks reception

• The Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) aims to promote interdisciplinary research by combining expertise from across the breadth of the University to address major cross-cutting themes that are important, relevant and timely. For more information please visit the IAS website