Business North launches call for evidence on connectivity and transport

Posted: 12 Oct 2016

Business North, the leaders’ network representing the voice of business in the North of England, is today launching a call for evidence on connectivity and transport, seeking input from firms on their investment priorities for the region.

It follows the new Government’s recent reassertion of commitment to the Northern Powerhouse, and comes as Transport for the North looks to build on the substantial progress it has already made in setting out its vision of better transport infrastructure and improved connectivity across the region.

Evidence gathered from business will inform further the development of Transport for the North’s plans, and will deepen the evidence base in support of investment in infrastructure that has a transformational impact on the ability of firms in the North to do business.

And the Humber’s credentials are at the forefront of the thinking.

Chris Hearld, Chair of Business North and Northern Region Chair at KPMG, said: “From renewable energy to digital gaming, the North has fantastic assets that collectively have the potential to boost prosperity for the whole country. While the opportunities are great, the challenges are also substantial. Whether struggling to navigate the train network to a meeting in a nearby city, or feeling unable to sell online to new markets because of unreliable digital connectivity, businesses across the North battle the implications of underinvestment on a daily basis.

“Already businesses across the North have told us loud and clear: effective investment in transport and connectivity is vital if the northern economy is to flourish as we all want. Productivity and prosperity grow when people are brought closer together.

“Today’s call for evidence is an opportunity for businesses to explain exactly what impact investment in transport and connectivity has for them. It will help Transport for the North refine its priorities, and is a demonstration of the business community’s continued commitment to growth and prosperity across the North.”

The call for evidence will be made at Business North’s Half Year Review, taking place at KPMG’s offices in Leeds this afternoon. The Review will bring together around 70 of the most senior business leaders from around the North.

John Cridland CBE, Chair of Transport for the North, who will speak to businesses at the Half Year Review, said: "Transport for the North recognises that the most successful long term investment strategies are those based on evidence driven intelligence. That's exactly why we commissioned the Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review which we published in June this year. This new call for evidence will help inform us further on how we can shape strategies to deliver the right investment decisions on connectivity. I would urge all businesses in the North to take the chance to have their voice heard. This is a key moment for the future of the Region."

CBI President Paul Drechsler will be speaking at the CBI Yorkshire and Humber Annual Dinner tonight.

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