Lincolnshire businesses still positive for the future, LEP survey finds

Lincolnshire businesses are looking forward to the next 12 months after seeing improvements in the past year, a survey has found.

According to the Greater Lincolnshire Employer Survey, carried out on behalf of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), nearly two-thirds of the 1,515 businesses surveyed saw improved performance and almost three-quarters expect their business to grow in the next 12 months.

The survey backs up findings from the latest Quarterly Economic Survey too, which found that businesses have been experiencing these improvements every quarter since the beginning of 2013.

It also found 65% of employers reported an increase in profitability, turnover, sales and market share in the last year, and 72% of businesses expect performance to improve over the next 12 months.

70% of employers in the LEP’s “priority sectors” — agri-food, visitor economy, manufacturing, ports and logistics, renewables and care services — gave Greater Lincolnshire a positive or very positive rating as a place where their business can grow.

However, businesses still found one common challenge they were facing in the past quarter.

Only 21% of respondents described the transport infrastructure in the county as good. Poor transport infrastructure was cited by 30% of private sector employers as “an obstacle to business growth”.

Ursula Lidbetter MBE, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: “This survey is a very important piece of work for us and it’s encouraging to see that the results show increased optimism and business growth across Greater Lincolnshire.

“This is the first major study of the Greater Lincolnshire economy we have carried out, and we have done so because we can’t get this information in any other way.

“The data will be extremely useful in allowing us to understand both current business conditions in our area and the barriers to growth.”

“Poor transport infrastructure is an area that employers have highlighted as a negative factor and we will continue to prioritise transport – particularly rail and road infrastructure – in our plans for the Greater Lincolnshire.”

Councillor Richard Davies, Executive Member for Highways at Lincolnshire County Council, added: “There’s no question that Lincolnshire needs better infrastructure, and over the next few years the county council will spend several hundred million pounds on major road projects in Lincoln and Grantham, and strategic partners like Network Rail are making significant investments in Lincolnshire too.

“We’re also working with local MPs to lobby the government for extra funding so we can sustain this period of economic growth and continue to help local businesses prosper.”

See the full results on the Greater Lincolnshire LEP website.