Business leaders in Birmingham welcomed the announcement of the 6,000 extra jobs which will be created by the redevelopment of New Street Station.
But they said it remained to be seen where they would come from or how long they would last.
As reported by The Birmingham Post, Birmingham City Council has revised the number of jobs likely to be created by the New Street Gateway scheme from 5,000 to 11,000.
They said the new figure included construction jobs on the site of the new station and the ‘ripple effect’ of a huge regeneration scheme in the middle of the city centre.
A spokesman for Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry said it always welcomed more jobs coming into the city, but it would be waiting to see whether the number of jobs matched the council’s predictions.
Many were also likely to be just short term contracts as well, he said.
And he added: “If it’s true, obviously it’s fantastic news, anything that creates new jobs is good for the economy.
“Of course clearly there’s going to be a period of disruption to a lot of businesses but we hope that it can be handled in as sensitive a way as possible to make the work as trouble free as possible.”
More than 90 shops in the Pallasades shopping centre above the current New Street Station are to have Compulsory Purchase Orders served on them and residents at the council-owned Stephenson Tower will soon be getting notices telling them they will be moved to other homes.
The council said it hoped to complete the move without too much controversy, with planning chief Clive Dutton saying the CPOs would only be used as a “last resort”.
Planners will be holding a competition next month to find an architect to design the Gateway project, which is set to be a new landmark for Birmingham.
Businessmen and holidaymakers in the West Midlands are turning their back on the airlines and taking the train to Europe.
Eurostar said it had seen a 70 per cent increase in people travelling from Birmingham to the continent by train, after the opening of the UK’s first high-speed line from London to mainland Europe.
The firm said the surging demand had taken place in cities like Birmingham because cross-channel services were now more accessible from the new terminal at London St Pancras International.
Ticket sales at Eurostar reached a total of £368.8 million, and increase of 25 per cent on the same time the year before. More than 4.5 million people travelled with the firm, nearly a fifth more than the same time in 2007.
The company has managed to shrug off some of the problems facing the transport industry, with high-speed rail fares unaffected by the rising oil prices that have hit many airline firms and made them raise prices for short-haul travel.
Green passengers are also brought in by the firm’s eco-conscious approach, the firm said. Eurostar boasts that it makes all its routes carbon neutral.
Eurostar chief executive Richard Brown said: “This impressive growth in traveller numbers clearly demonstrates that Eurostar’s move to St Pancras International has opened up high-speed rail services to millions more people across the UK.
“The impact of rising oil prices on air fares, combined with growing awareness of the much greater environmental impact of flying, are causing more and more travellers to switch from plane to train.
“However, whilst we expect traveller numbers and ticket revenues to continue to rise, it is clear that the wider economic environment is deteriorating and we expect that the rate of growth will slow in the second half of the year.”
He added the chance to buy through tickets from Birmingham stations to European stations in France, Holland and Belgium had been a key factor in the increase of travellers going by Eurostar to the continent.