Infrastructure should play a role in delivering £175n for England in higher productivity gains, according to the CBI.
Shaping Regional Infrastructure, a report drawing on conversations with members of the UK’s largest business group, Unlocking Regional Growth and the 2016 CBI/AECOM Infrastructure Survey, demonstrates the pressing need felt by businesses to enhance their infrastructure and connectivity across the country.
Improving the links between regions will give firms access to a broader labour market pool and better connections to supply chains. Moreover, with businesses across the country wanting a long term aviation strategy that makes the best use of regional airports, better links to these are vital to connecting firms with new and existing international markets to which to export – particularly important post-Brexit.
CBI analysis shows that if each region of England grew at the same pace as the best performing area within each region did between 2004 and 2014, the gain to England’s economy could be £175bn by 2024. And improvements to infrastructure could play an important role in this. With 94 per cent of firms also seeing technology as a crucial driver of increased productivity, its better and greater use will improve infrastructure delivery.
Rhian Kelly, CBI Infrastructure Director, said: “England’s infrastructure is the arteries and veins without which the country its economy and businesses simply would not function. But with only a quarter of firms satisfied with the state of their region’s infrastructure, it’s vital the pace of taking action and delivering improvements is stepped up.
“Infrastructure is a key driver of productivity. By making it easier for staff to get to work and by better connecting companies to their customers, markets overseas and supply chains, we could do a great deal to lift England’s productivity.