HS2 expected to boost business for third of SMEs, report says


A third of SMEs are expecting to see increased levels of business as a direct result of the planned HS2 railway.

Though construction is scheduled to begin in 2017 if the project gets the all clear, many small business owners are already hoping that they will see the benefit.

According to the results of the latest quarterly Close Brothers Business Barometer, a survey that of over 700 small to medium sized business owners and senior management, almost a third expect to see a positive impact from HS2, and of these businesses, 52% expect it to increase their potential future growth as a result of being better connected to other cities.

Close Brothers Asset Finance chief executive Mike Randall said: “The HS2 high speed railway project will connect London Euston, the Midlands, north west England, Yorkshire and potentially also the north east of England and the central belt of Scotland.

“It is hoped that the project, which is mooted to generate almost £60 billion in user benefits as well as around £13 billion wider economic benefits, will form part of Britain’s core economic infrastructure when complete.

“In theory HS2 will bring a range of benefits to businesses across the UK. Enhanced connectivity should boost productivity and bring opportunities for increased trade. It’s also worth noting that it will give cities outside of London a chance to make a wider contribution to the economy.”

Nonetheless, there remains serious opposition to the £50bn pound plan, and concerns as to whether the mooted benefits will materialise, as we reported yesterday.

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