‘Transport and infrastructure must improve for us to grow’, say Lincolnshire businesses

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Over a third (39%) of Lincolnshire businesses say the county’s transport and infrastructure must improve if they are to continue to grow, according to recent research by business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP.

The survey of the East Midlands’ most profitable businesses also revealed that unlocking new markets for existing products and/or services is what 54% of Lincolnshire businesses see as most likely to drive growth in the coming 12 months, with 31% saying that recruiting new people will also play a part.

However, more than half of them believe the region’s talent pool is lacking, with a short supply of individuals with the skills and qualifications they need according to 53% of the Lincolnshire-based businesses taking part, which they believe is likely to hamper their growth plans.

Richard Blackmore, CBI East Midlands Director, commented: “People and their skills are one of the biggest drivers of growth for our country and these figures go to show how important they are to businesses in the East Midlands.

“Companies are committed to attracting and developing people, and here in East Midlands, work closely with schools and colleges to inspire young people about future options.

“What’s vital for addressing skills gaps is getting technical education right – which is why business is positive about the new T-Levels and working closely with the Government to help design these.”

Improving links between education and employers, and strengthening relations across the region’s business networks and communities are also important factors that will help to create a vibrant economy, and to attract talent into the area, more must be done to promote Lincolnshire as a ‘desirable place to live and work’, according to 33% of the county’s businesses.

63% of Lincolnshire’s businesses believe that Brexit and the General Election have had only a slight effect on their future strategy planning, whilst 32% say they have had no effect at all, with just 5% reporting a significant impact.

Grant Thornton carried out the survey at an event in Grantham, Lincolnshire, last month, hosted to launch the findings of the firm’s East Midlands Top 200 Report 2017, produced in partnership with the CBI.

The survey also found that opening up new markets for existing products and/or services will figure in driving growth for 54% of Lincolnshire’s most profitable businesses, whilst 15% believe developing a new product or service will be critical.

Commenting on the survey, Mark Pashley, Director at Grant Thornton’s East Midlands office, said: “In our survey, we asked the East Midlands’ top performing and most profitable businesses how they are finding business conditions today compared to 12 months ago, and the vast majority said they are finding things more difficult.

“74% of Lincolnshire businesses, compared to 46% of Nottinghamshire businesses, and 65% of Leicestershire businesses, say they are finding business conditions slightly tougher than this time last year.

“On average, almost a third (32%) of businesses across Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire told us that recruiting the right people for their business is also a big barrier to growth,” he explains.

The East Midlands Top 200 Report is now in its fifth year, and analyses the financial performance of the 200 businesses in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire that have delivered the greatest, sustained profit growth between 2013 and 2016. It provides the region’s only in-depth study into the East Midlands’ fastest growing companies by key sector and performance indicators, to deliver a barometer of overall economic performance.