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Shrewsbury-Black Country-Birmingham Railway

Volume 717: debated on Thursday 30 June 2022

15. What assessment he has made of the potential impact of updating and improving the Shrewsbury-Black Country-Birmingham railway line on employment, training and educational opportunities for people in local communities. (900826)

We are expecting to receive a strategic outline business case from Midlands Connect in July, which I hope will set out the potential impacts of this scheme on employment, training and education.

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. As she says, a business case is going in to her Department in July to increase the line speed between Shrewsbury and Birmingham, which could be done by 2025 if signed off quickly. Will she use her good offices to agree the funding for the outline business case, so that we can finally level up for Shropshire with connectivity and speed to our regional capital, Birmingham?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right that rail projects such as this are a vital way of levelling up and growing the economy right across every part of the country. I look forward to receiving the business case next month, and I would be very happy to meet my hon. Friend and stakeholders to discuss the scheme further.