South West firms hope for HS2 boost

Mike Randall

Mike Randall

Around a quarter of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the South West believe the HS2 high-speed rail project will have a positive impact on their business, according to a survey.

The figures, from the latest quarterly Close Brothers Business Barometer, suggest that 23 per cent of smaller business owners and senior management think they will benefit.

Of these, 28 per cent think that improved connectivity between UK cities will allow them to draw on a wider talent pool.

A third of local businesses also hope to win a contract to be involved in the build of the project, either in manufacturing, construction or elsewhere in the supply chain.

CEO of Close Brothers Asset Finance, Mike Randall comments: “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.”

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