The views of businesses are being sought as an inquiry is launched into the social and economic benefits of public infrastructure investment in the East Midlands.
The East Midlands All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), which brings together cross-party MPs and peers in the region to identify priorities for development and maximise future investment, is working with East Midlands Chamber, East Midlands Councils and law firm Geldards LLP to gather intelligence from the business community across Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.
Latest figures from the Treasury show the East Midlands receives 64.7% of the UK average for transport infrastructure spending by Government – the lowest amount of all regions.
The APPG, which is co-chaired by Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills and Nottinghamshire North MP Alex Norris, is therefore keen to understand the extent to which national infrastructure investment underpins local investment by businesses and councils that results in social and economic benefits for people and places.
The analysis will be used by MPs to engage with Government and the National Infrastructure Commission, which will publish its second National Infrastructure Assessment in autumn this year to set out the UK’s long-term economic infrastructure needs, to address the region’s infrastructure deficit.
Chris Hobson, director of policy and insight at East Midlands Chamber, which acts as the East Midlands APPG’s secretariat, said: “For years, the East Midlands has been bottom of the pile when it comes to public investment and it’s held back our potential.
“Time and again, we find ourselves at the back of the queue when it comes to building major infrastructure, with promises not kept over the electrification of the Midland Main Line and the HS2 Eastern Leg significantly scaled back despite full delivery happening elsewhere in the country – which could leave us structurally disadvantaged as a result.
“In the Chamber’s regional economic blueprint, A Centre of Trading Excellence: A Business Manifesto for Growth in the East Midlands and Beyond, we earmark infrastructure as one of the ‘four Is’ – along with investment, innovation and international trade – that Westminster must prioritise in order to achieve sustained economic growth.
“This inquiry is the next step in this strand of work and we want to hear the views of businesses so we can really understand exactly what infrastructure enables in our communities.”
East Midlands Chamber, working in partnership with law firm Geldards LLP, will facilitate evidence sessions in Westminster that focus on how the current approach to infrastructure investment impacts confidence and the ability to plan activity.
This intelligence will feed into a report to be published in autumn, with its findings to be debated by MPs in Westminster Hall.
The Chamber has designed a short survey for businesses to complete by Friday 9 June. To take part, visit bit.ly/EMinfrastructure