Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, has today published its paper, Small scale, big impact: infrastructure and economic regeneration, which stresses the importance of small and medium scale infrastructure schemes on the wider UK economy.
In the paper the company draws on its considerable experience and understanding of the link between infrastructure and economic regeneration. Balfour Beatty examines the role small scale, quickly implementable projects can play in boosting economic growth nationally in the short to medium term, while simultaneously providing a longer-term structural contribution to the economy for example, by addressing congestion on the roads.
Such ‘shovel ready’ schemes will provide the construction industry with the pipeline and certainty to invest in training future experts who will be needed to deliver larger scale projects such as HS2 and the third runway at Heathrow.
Commenting today Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group Chief Executive, said: “Whilst major infrastructure investment will be vital to the strength of the UK over the mid-term, we believe there is also a way for the government’s industrial strategy to drive rapid economic stimulus, with considerable geographic precision.
“As of today a number of road, rail, public realm, flood defence and construction projects exist which meet the Chancellor’s tests, in many cases have been approved, but are stalled by lack of funding. Taking advantage of current low borrowing costs to select and implement those with potential to bring maximum impact on a localised basis would quickly disperse uncertainty and set the country on the path to an economic growth that works for everyone.”
Key recommendations within the paper include the need for a solid project pipeline; the importance of considering alternative economic modelling which makes a more robust economic case for infrastructure investment more broadly across the country; ensuring that fiscal stimulus is not directed solely towards new infrastructure; and that there is an early and integrated policy response to the skills shortage.
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Notes to editors:
• Balfour Beatty (www.balfourbeatty.com) is a leading international infrastructure group. With 34,000 employees, we provide innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. We finance, develop, build and maintain complex infrastructure such as transportation, power and utility systems, social and commercial buildings.
• Our main geographies are the UK, US, Middle East and South East Asia. Over the last 100 years we have created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, Hong Kong’s first Zero Carbon building, the world’s biggest shopping mall in Dubai, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the US and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.