A Third of Companies Believe HS2 Will Benefit Business

12% of firms hope to receive direct business from high speed rail network

Almost a third of small and medium enterprises believe that the high-speed rail project, HS2, will have a positive impact on their firm, according to the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer (CBBB).

Over half (52%) of the optimistic business leaders hope that the HS2 will increase their growth potential, thanks to better connections to cities across the UK, and 30% feel that it will improve their access to talent, making it easier to hire employees with strong skill-sets.

In addition, the barometer, which is a quarterly survey that portrays the views of small and mid-sized business owners, found that a number of small and medium-sized firms plan to acquire direct business from the project with 12% anticipating involvement in manufacturing, construction or other supply chain work as the high-speed rail begins development.

The HS2 is a government planned railway that will connect London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, and potentially the North East of England and Central Scotland.

Mike Randall, CEO of Close Brothers Asset Finance, discussed the potential of HS2 for business:

“It is hoped that the project, which is mooted to generate almost £60bn in user benefits as well as around £13bn 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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