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Left-behind towns and cities have role as hubs for infrastructure schemes

Words: Huw Morris

Former industrial towns and cities should be revived as hubs for manufacturing and logistics to support major transport and infrastructure projects, according to civil engineering contractors.

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) said such areas tend to have good transport links and an experienced engineering workforce.

Locating new factories and logistics centres in left-behind towns and cities would reinvigorate them, create jobs and growth, while spreading the social benefits of investment in major infrastructure projects far away from areas where projects are being delivered.

Working with economics consultancy CEBR, the CECA also recommends that an either/or approach to delivering much-needed investment in London and across the rest of the UK be dropped. It says the government should recognise that investment outside the capital supports growth in London and vice versa.

The report also urges the government to continue funding infrastructure at 1.2 per cent of the GDP fiscal remit and examine the case for higher social and economic outcomes. Previous research by CEBR and the CECA found that every £1 billion of infrastructure construction increases overall economic activity by £2.842 billion.

“Well-planned infrastructure investment can not only transform how we all live and work, but it has a notable benefit for those areas which have been left behind over the years,” said CECA chief executive Alasdair Reisner.

Image credit | iStock