NEWS11 November 2020

Invest in transport and digital infrastructure to help Surrey Recover and thrive post-Covid

The University of Surrey launches a major report that reviews the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the county of Surrey. The report recommends that Surrey needs to invest in its transport and digital infrastructure to build a better and brighter future.

The Charting Surrey’s Post-Covid Rescue, Recovery and Growth report provides a thorough review of the impact of Covid-19 on Surrey’s business, healthcare, aviation and knowledge sectors, and offers a host of strategic recommendations to local and national governments for charting a path from short-term recovery to long-term growth and prosperity.

The report was launched at an online event on Thursday 12 November. The event featured guest speakers including former UK Chancellor and Chair of the Future Economy Surrey Commission, Lord Philip Hammond and the MP for Guildford, Angela Richardson.

One of the most interesting findings in the report is that the business, healthcare, aviation and knowledge economy sectors each demonstrates areas of competitive advantage for Surrey nationally and globally, but also places where Covid-19 and pre-Covid issues have seen complacency take hold and reduce the potential for cross-sectoral entrepreneurship. From its key multinationals and cutting-edge small businesses to its strategic positioning between Heathrow, Gatwick and London, Surrey has historically enjoyed a privileged position. However, the impact of Covid-19, as well as pre-existing inter-county disparities now present serious challenges for decision-makers and citizens alike.

Professor Amelia Hadfield, a co-author of the report and Head of Politics at the University of Surrey, said: “Covid-19 has had a profound impact on many of our lives. While we adjust to all the changes and challenges, we also need to shape a new vision and forge a way forward.

“We believe that our report is just the beginning of discovering this new path. We have tried to leave no stone unturned and have engaged with local authorities, the business community and the health sector to fully understand how Surrey can rise stronger and more cohesive than ever before.”

Download the full report here.