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News Release

Exeter

Plymouth Business Leaders want digital future for the city

Survey of business leaders finds that hi-speed broadband and improved rail are viewed as crucial to Plymouth’s economic future


Plymouth, 1st March, 2012 - Business leaders attending a property event in Plymouth have identified investment in hi-speed broadband and improved rail links as top priorities for the city’s economy.

More than 200 senior businesspeople attended the event and were asked how Plymouth should improve its accessibility to boost its economy. Forty per cent of respondents singled out the Digital Plymouth initiative to roll out hi-speed broadband as a priority, while another 36 per cent said it was most important to lobby for improved rail links.

There was a lower level of support among business leaders for an upgrade for the Devon expressway to motorway status – only 17 per cent saw this as a priority.

Plymouth’s competitiveness also came under the spotlight at the event, hosted by Jones Lang LaSalle. Thirty five percent of the surveyed leaders said that closer cooperation between Plymouth, Exeter and Torbay was the best strategy to attract inward investment, while a quarter reckoned that developing more employment land within the city boundaries would provide the the most tangible boost.

A fifth of respondents said that Plymouth’s competitiveness would be improved most by improved public transport links across the city. Another theme identified by many present was the need for closer cooperation between the key larger organisations in the city to deliver a cohesive vision for the city’s development and evolution.

Charles Kislingbury, head of Jones Lang LaSalle for Plymouth, said the findings showed the pragmatism of business leaders in the city, with the most popular steps identified being relatively cheap to deliver or else simply dependent on better cooperation and coordination.

“Clearly the Digital Plymouth initiative has struck a chord and many are already feeling the benefit of some of the investment that has gone into the city’s broadband infrastructure. If this investment can be carried through it should give the city’s economy and prospects a real boost,” said Kislingbury.