Chesterfield council issues update on HS2 depot plans amid fears hundreds of future jobs lost

Chesterfield council chiefs have released an update on long-standing plans to build a maintenance depot for HS2 trains in Staveley.

By Tim Paget
Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 2:01 pm

It was feared the plans had hit the buffers last month when the Government revealed the eastern leg of the high speed route north of an east Midlands hub had been scrapped.

The decision was described as a ‘bitter blow’ and a ‘disaster for Chesterfield’ because of the number of future jobs which hinged on a high speed link and the proposed depot on the old Staveley Works.

However, Chesterfield Borough Council hopes the site can still become a depot – or be used to deliver other elements of the Government’s rail plan.

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Chesterfield council chiefs have released an update on long-standing plans to build a maintenance depot for for these Alstom and Hitachi HS2 trains in Staveley. Image: Hitachi.

A council spokesperson said this week: “The government's Integrated Rail Plan (published in November) announced a review of options for taking high speed services on from East Midlands Parkway to Leeds.

"Until that review is concluded, the previously proposed route for HS2 East, including the depot site at Staveley will remain 'safeguarded'.

“Therefore, a depot in Staveley could still form part of future high-speed rail proposals for the area.

"Alternatively, it may be that the site is needed to help deliver other elements of the Integrated Rail Plan.”

The council has promised the regeneration of the Staveley Works site remains central to its plans.

"The council and its partners are actively engaged with the government and Network Rail to consider the options for the depot site and recognise its importance in bringing valuable jobs to the area and unlocking development along the Staveley works corridor,” the spokesperson added.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins said the proposed depot would create hundreds of local jobs – and capitalise on the area’s rich railway heritage.

Council chiefs have previously confirmed that long-standing plans to revitalise the area around Chesterfield railway station – one of the key gateways to the town centre – were not dependent on HS2 and will still go ahead.

Earlier this month it was revealed Alstom and Hitachi will be building the 54, 200m-long, 225mph all-electric trains which will operate on HS2 lines.

Some of the construction will take place at Alstom’s factory in Derby.