Rail work boost for firms across region

Electrification schemes have helped boost small firms.

Electrification schemes have helped boost small firms.

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Businesses across the North West have benefitted from almost £200m of work as a result of investment in the railways, according to new figures released by Network Rail.

Nearly three-quarters (£144m) of the money spent on building work in 2012/13 went to small and medium-sized businesses based in the region, the company said.

Across Britain, Network Rail’s major projects division – which is responsible for delivering enhancement schemes such as electrification of the Blackpool to Manchester rail line invested £3.2bn in 2012/13.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander said: “Investing in infrastructure has a direct effect on the economy, creating jobs, and giving Britain the infrastructure we need to build a stronger economy and fairer society.”

Neil Thompson, regional director of Network Rail Infrastructure Projects, said: “The rail industry is increasingly recognised as a key contributor to our national, economic and social well-being. This is true in the North West where investment in the rail network provided a £187m boost to companies in the region, supporting sustainable economic growth and jobs.

In the past four years, Network Rail has generated £17.3bn of work for its supply chain, of which £6.2bn has been with small and medium-sized businesses – a 22 per cent increase on the previous four years.

Planned enhancements and renewals expenditure between 2014 and 2019 is approximately £25bn, with 99% of this work to be undertaken by UK-based companies.

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