In the North West, 60% of companies are not satisfied with the state of the region’s infrastructure, according to a report by the Confederation of British Industry.
The survey conducted for the regional infrastructure report showed that while 46% of businesses nationally were unhappy with infrastructure, the figure was much higher in the North West. Only 19% of companies said infrastructure has improved in the last five years, 88% identify broadband as a problem and 76% believe greater devolution would improve infrastructure.
CBI analysis shows that if the North West’s productivity grew at the same pace as the region’s best performing area did between 2004 and 2014, the gain to its economy could be £16.9bn by 2024, and improvements to infrastructure could play an important role in this.
Alongside the need to improve technology to boost productivity, the report also prioritised strengthening inter-regional transport links, including Northern Powerhouse rail, tackling congestion and improving connections to airports and ports.
Damian Waters, CBI North West director, said: “Infrastructure is a key driver of productivity. By making it easier for staff to get to work and by better connecting companies to their customers, markets overseas and supply chains, we could do a great deal to lift England’s productivity.
“Moreover, ramping up trade with international partners – old, new and in all corners of the world – will be crucial to making a success of Brexit. This makes it doubly important to better connect firms to these markets, particularly through the Government’s commitment to a long-term aviation strategy and giving our regional airports a new lease of life.
“A strategic plan for delivery, tailored for each region, will also be needed for firms to feel devolution will truly make a difference when it comes to infrastructure.”