Balfour Beatty Announces £1bn Small Business Investment Boost

Latest Move Represents Significant Boost To SME Construction Supply Chain

28.05.2014

Steven Beahan, Partner | +44 (0)114 294 7868

The UK’s largest construction business, Balfour Beatty, has announced a £1 billion investment in SMEs across the country.

According to the firm, the investment, which is up 33 per cent on last year's total, will bring 50,000 extra SME jobs, meaning the entire supply chain now supports 200,000 people's livelihoods.

Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK chief executive Nicholas Pollard said: "We are delighted the prime minister could be with us today to celebrate our £1 billion spend with small businesses this year, 98 per cent of which are British companies.

"Small businesses create local jobs and apprenticeships and are the innovators, engineers and exporters of the future. We are committed to supporting them."

To mark the occasion, Mr Cameron toured a Balfour Beatty construction site in central London, where a 17-storey college and student residence is being built to cope with increased residential demand in the capital.

David Cameron also spoke, praising Balfour Beatty's commitment to SME investment and welcoming the large investment, which will further boost the UK's economic standing.

Unemployment rates across the UK have fallen in recent months thanks to increased inward investment in the service and manufacturing sectors.

The latest Office for National Statistics figures show that unemployment fell to 6.8 per cent, its lowest since the recession.

This is below the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee's benchmark of seven per cent, where it promised it would begin to consider increasing interest rates from their record low of 0.5 per cent.

While this could boost growth, there are concerns that increasing the rate too quickly could destabilise the housing market, which has begun to grow rapidly in the months since the government announced its landmark Help to Buy mortgage assistance scheme.

Expert Opinion
We certainly welcome news of this £1bn investment in SMEs.

“This move will see a significant amount of money being fed into the supply chain of smaller firms and see money invested into 6,000 businesses. This move recognises the strength of SMEs, the skills that they provide and the important role that they play in the construction sector.

“It also highlights their importance to future job creation and reiterates the need for SMEs to receive the right support to ensure they can be successful in the future and continue to drive the economy forward.”
Steven Beahan, Partner