Balfour Beatty, a multinational infrastructure group, has announced they will be spending £1bn on SME contracts this year.

They hope the investment will support 50,000 new jobs compared to the spendings they made last year in 2013. This years number is the largest ever spent by a UK construction contractor. If successful, it will bring the number of SME jobs in the supply chain up to 200,000.

The Prime Minister visited a London construction site to mark the occasion. He 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 £1 billion on small and medium sized businesses this year is very welcome evidence that this plan is working – -supporting the thousands of extra jobs in the sector which will give hard-working people economic security for the future.”

Matthew Fell, the CBI Director for Competitive Markets, praised the investment. He said: “Small, medium and large businesses work closely together day-in-day-out across the UK economy to create jobs and drive growth. And Balfour Beatty’s record investment is an excellent example of the importance to big companies of nurturing and supporting strong supply chains within their industries.”

This comes as a CBI report was released saying business confidence was on the up, with firms planning on expanding their workforces over the coming year. The Government’s Manufacturing Advisory Service also said that confidence was at a three year high and would lead to new jobs