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David Cameron praises Balfour Beatty's £1bn SME spend

Prime minister David Cameron has hailed Balfour Beatty’s promised £1bn spend with SMEs in 2014 after he visited one of the contractor’s London schemes.

Balfour Beatty said its £1bn spend would support around 50,000 extra jobs in comparison to their 2013 spend with smaller businesses, bringing the total number of SME jobs in the supply chain to 200,000.

The contractor said its UK construction business has more than 8,000 active supply chain partners, of which more than 75 per cent are small and medium-sized businesses, working on over 1,000 live projects across the UK at any one time.

Prime minister David Cameron said: “Giving businesses the confidence to invest and create jobs is a key part of our long-term economic plan.

“Balfour Beatty’s commitment to spend a record £1bn on SME businesses this year is very welcome evidence that this plan is working – supporting thousands of extra jobs in the sector which will give hard-working people economic security for the future.”

The prime minister met with site workers and apprentices building new student accommodation, as well as small business incubator space in London and some of the SMEs in Balfour Beatty’s supply chain.

Balfour Beatty Construction Services UK chief executive Nicholas Pollard said: “We are delighted the prime minister could be with us today to celebrate our £1bn 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 so we can build a better Britain together – leaving a lasting legacy in the communities we touch across the UK.”

CBI director for competitive markets Matthew Fell said: “Small, medium and large businesses work together closely day-in-day-out across the UK economy to create jobs and drive growth.

“Balfour Beatty’s record investment is an excellent example of the importance to big companies to nurture and support strong supply chains within their industries.”

More to follow.

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