Invest in East Coast Main Line to deliver £9 billion boost for UK economy

Research published today shows investing £3 billion in the East Coast Main Line can deliver a £9 billion boost for UK plc, and improve services for the 20 million people who use the line each year.

Unveiled at The Consortium of East Coast Main Line’s (ECMA) Scottish parliamentary event, the independent research shows every pound spent on work to improve the UK’s eastern rail spine, will deliver £3.33 of wider economic benefits.

When the development of High Speed 2 East is added the potential economic boost is even bigger.

Cllr Russell Imrie, Vice-Chairman of ECMA, said work is underway to encourage investment in the line and highlight what it gives to the UK.

“Investment in the East Coast Main Line will deliver economic benefits across the country; maximise the benefits HS2 East will bring; and mean customers benefit from more destinations, improved journey times, better reliability and greater resilience,” he said.

“The east coast community is the backbone of UK plc. Communities served by the line contribute more than £300 billion to the economy every year.

“ECMA is calling for the work needed to improve the line to be prioritised, and our member organisations will continue to bring forward economic development proposals that can help finance the vital upgrades the East Coast Main Line needs.

“The wider economic benefits of this investment will be felt from the north of Scotland to London, with smaller economies along the line seeing proportionally larger gains.

“Improving infrastructure will help freight customers on the line and will benefit many of the UK’s key growth industries, including biotechnology, digital and creative, finance and advanced manufacturing.”

Cllr Imrie highlighted growth plans already being championed by ECMA’s members. Including:

  • The £1 billion Dundee Waterfront plan, creating more than 7,000 new jobs in biotech and other industries;
  • The Hertfordshire Growth Deal, that will deliver 15,000 new jobs, and 20,000 new homes by 2021; and
  • Growth plans in south east Scotland that will deliver 24,900 new jobs and 135,000 new homes by 2030

Investment in the line will be felt by nearly 13 million people living in east coast communities, and will mean they have access to more jobs and opportunities, helping bring wealth back into their own communities.

The research was presented at ECMA’s Holyrood parliamentary reception, which attracted MSPs and businesses from along the East Coast Main Line, and which was addressed by Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf MSP.

The independent research report was conducted by JMP and is now available on ECMA’s website, along with a research summary that highlights its key findings.

To download a copy of the research please visit: