Network Rail’s move showed Milton Keynes is ‘on the right tracks’ say firms

Network Rail - New building preview next to MK Station'Tim Coucher Project Director (Closest to camera) and Jerry England Director of Asset Management inside the Quadrant at MK'Video stills - Natalee Hazelwood 30/05/12
Network Rail - New building preview next to MK Station'Tim Coucher Project Director (Closest to camera) and Jerry England Director of Asset Management inside the Quadrant at MK'Video stills - Natalee Hazelwood 30/05/12
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NETWORK Rail’s move to locate its head office in Milton Keynes has been identified as a positive indicator for the future of the new city.

Assurance, tax and advisory services firm PwC, in Midsummer Boulevard, held a recent event to celebrate 25 years in Milton Keynes, attended by 30 local professional service advisors, investors and lenders.

When asked if they thought local companies were more or less willing to invest, 47 per cent said they were more willing than a year ago, and 27 per cent thought they were less so. While the majority of respondents said the outlook for the local economy was unchanged compared to six months ago, about a third believe the outlook is now more positive.

Among the reasons for this optimism, the recent move by Network Rail to locate in Milton Keynes was highlighted as a positive indicator. Some 76 per cent of respondents said this move will help to attract more inward investment and all agreed that this was important to the area’s future economic prosperity.

Mike Robinson, senior partner at PwC’s Milton Keynes office, said: “Network Rail’s investment has given the local business community a boost and despite the current cautiousness about business investment, it is good to see that business advisers and lenders think there could be more to come.

“The Eurozone crisis hasn’t helped matters and the economy remains flat. Despite this, PwC’s recent Economic Outlook report is forecasting low level growth in the South Midlands of around 0.8% in 2012 and 2013, which although low is nevertheless slightly better than in some other areas of the country. This is encouraging news as Milton Keynes is a particularly vibrant business community and we are looking forward to continuing to meet its needs in the future.”