Knowledge Quarter partners had the opportunity to meet with Tom Venner, Commercial Development Director for HS2. The event, organised by the Knowledge Quarter was held at Knowledge Quarter partner Bennetts Associates this morning (15 December 2017). As Commercial Development Director for HS2 Tom Venner will preside over one of the largest on-going development projects in London, with high speed two consisting of three phases, the first of which is aiming to be completed in 2026 connecting London to Birmingham in 41 minutes. As High Speed 2 is situated in the heart of Euston, this will be a major project which will go further than transport connection but will be a hub for opportunity and a catalyst for growth in the Knowledge Quarter and subsequently for Knowledge Quarter partner’s institutions. Partners heard Tom outline the project priorities and discussed key issues facing its development.
A number of important themes emerged from the discussion including the opportunities and challenges of the project, the presence of Euston Road, sustainable regeneration and community involvement. The discussion focused on learning more about the project and the involvement/impact on Knowledge Quarter partners, to which assurance was given that as a massive infrastructure project, HS2 are greatly concerned with mitigating impact to Camden/Islington residents and institutions. It was agreed that HS2 should become ‘the front door’ to the Knowledge Quarter area and as part of this all of the Knowledge Quarter partners would be heavily involved in the project and play a major role in its subsequent development as an evolving project. Partners discussed that community engagement and local opportunities for jobs/housing development should be at the forefront of HS2s agenda and that Knowledge Quarter partners should be involved in these projects as other development starts.