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.

What HS2’s £50bn could really buy us - we do the maths

HS2 has cost us £1bn so far and it hasn’t even been officially approved yet

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Hilarious! HS2 Ltd (who no doubt had a hand in this report) seem to have no shame - they'll make up any old rubbish to try to justify this massive robbery of taxpayers money! Where's the detail here - how exactly does anyone benefit from a slightly faster train journey when we all sit working merrily away on trains regardless. Most people don't even know I'm out of the office when I make my trips up to Scotland on business, and increasingly those trips are being replaced by face to face digital meetings. Despite some dinosaurs protesting that every handshake needs to be physical, the rest of us know that access to a quiet room and a half decent broadband speed is all you need to have a constructive personal, emotional connection, without the need for expensive, environmentally damaging train journeys - not to mention time actually wasted booking tickets, travelling to and from stations and sleeping in crummy hotels. HS2 is a jumped up QUANGO designed to line the pockets of those costing up to our dear leaders 0- it has nothing to do with connecting business, creating capacity, or solving any transport problems that need sorting. The sooner people wake up to it, the sooner they can stop flushing our hard earned cash down the toilet.

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  • Richard - spot on! Unfortunately the politicians just don't get it.

    Those billions could be used to make a real difference to the UK infrastructure - decent broadband, electric car and driverless car (wouldn't need HS2 and everyone would benefit not just the elite few who can afford to travel HS2 style

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