Wednesday, 3 October 2018
It's time to raise our game
Karen Smart, Managing Director at East Midlands Airport, was driven to blog after hearing the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, open his Conservative Party Conference speech with a reference to investment in the East Midlands.
Of particular interest was the £2m he announced to fund a new development corporation to carry out a study of how best to stimulate growth around Toton to maximise the potential of HS2 when it arrives.
"This is very welcome news indeed not least because the East Midlands has struggled with under-investment for new infrastructure, but it also recognises the significant economic potential of this region," Karen wrote, echoing the Chamber's drive for infrastructure investment parity with the rest of the UK by 2020.
"However, it needs to be unlocked. Yesterday’s announcement is a step in the right direction for those of us who want to see a strong local economy," she wrote, suggesting that a stronger regional economy would create a virtuous circle of growth.
"We’ve long argued that the major development sites in the region need to be viewed as one as this will provide the framework for better integrated transport, road and housing planning ensuring that people can easily access the new jobs that are starting to emerge.
"This is why we need one bold vision for growth across the East Midlands. If we achieve this, we will become a very attractive region in which to live, work and nurture new business," Karen wrote.