Business organisations believe the government’s commitment to a £1.7 billion Transforming Cities Fund will provide a ‘much-needed’ boost to growth.
The Prime Minister announced the investment yesterday on a visit to the West Midlands, with the finance part of the wider Industrial Strategy White Paper, which will be published in full at the beginning of next week.
The Transforming Cities Fund will tackle transport infrastructure across the country by focusing on weaknesses in the system so that the end result is a boost to productivity and prosperity.
The Deputy Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry, Josh Hardie, wants to see more detail of the proposals set out by the government but he said that business organisations that the Confederation deal with have called for improvements for regional connections for some time and the £1.7 billion investment should stimulate productivity growth.
He said: “Businesses in cities across the country are keen to see improved regional connections that the CBI and its members have long called for.
“By improving the routes businesses rely on every day to get goods to the market and people to work, this investment can bring a much-needed boost to growth, productivity and quality of life.
“Firms await further details on how cities can benefit from the allocation of funds, and the improvements that will be made to local roads and railways.”
The thoughts of the CBI were echoed by the Federation of Small Businesses, which represents the interests of SMEs across the UK.
Mike Cherry is the National Chairman of the FSB and he said this news is reassuring given the needs of SMEs. In particular, he wants the road networks to be improved through the Transforming Cities Fund.
“We are reassured to see the government adopting a UK-wide approach to the Industrial Strategy with the announcement of the Intra City Transport Fund.
“Many small firms rely on accessible and well maintained transport networks to move the goods and services their businesses are built on. A fundamental part of this investment must be improving local road.”