Britain’s booming railway is proving good business for the UK.
More than a third of the £3.2 billion spent last year went to small and medium enterprises – SMEs. Figures released in a report by Network Rail show continuing investment in the rail industry has sustained over 90,000 full-time jobs nationally over and above the 34,000 people directly employed by Network Rail. This in turns boosts taxes paid, reduces benefits payments and stimulates local economies.
Says Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, ‘Investing in infrastructure has a direct effect on the economy, creating jobs, and giving Britain the infrastructure we need to build a stronger economy and fairer society.
‘This report is excellent in highlighting the opportunities for small and medium sized businesses that come with infrastructure investment. That is why we have set out £100bn of investment in infrastructure over the next Parliament, including supporting the largest programme of investment in rail since the Victorian era.
‘I’m very glad to see that Network Rail are doing their bit to drive sustainable and balanced economic growth across the UK.’
In the last four years, Network Rail has generated £17.3bn of work for its supply chain. 6.2bn of this has gone to small and medium-sized businesses.
Says Simon Kirby, managing director of Network Rail Infrastructure Projects, ‘The rail industry is increasingly recognised as a key contributor to our national, economic and social well-being.
‘Across Britain, investment in a bigger, better railway has provided a massive boost to hundreds of businesses of all shapes and sizes, supporting sustainable economic growth and jobs.’