It will be built on a site in the Aire Valley, next to the M1, to the east of Leeds. It was previously proposed to build it in the Wakefield area but this ran into opposition due its likely impact on the village of Crofton.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling explained to the House of Commons: “Due to operational and community concerns after the M18 eastern route decision was announced, I asked HS2 Ltd to review alternative options for the depot site. The east of Leeds site was identified and a consultation seeking views on this proposed location was launched on 17th July 2017 and ran until 12th October 2017. The consultation revealed broad support for the new location.”
He said: “This ensures Leeds will not only see immediate benefits when HS2 arrives but will see Yorkshire become a thriving hub for training the engineers that HS2 and future major projects will need.”
The depot is expected to benefit from the University of Leeds’ new Institute for High Speed Rail & System Integration, which will train postgraduate engineers through MSc and PhD places.
University deputy vice-chancellor Lisa Roberts said Leeds would become “a global centre for high speed rail research and development, so we’re working closely with HS2 to ensure our facilities are aligned with its needs and those of industry, so all sides can deliver for the country”.