Budget 2015 announces major
new transport, science and technology investments in the North West
THE Chancellor on 19 March 2014
announced major new investments in transport and science in the North West, and
provisional agreement to allow Greater Manchester and Cheshire East to keep 100%
of additional growth in local business rates, as part of a Budget designed to
ensure a truly national recovery.
The Budget builds on previous steps to create a Northern Powerhouse by joining
up the north so that it can pool its strengths, and helping areas attract new
private sector investment by backing innovation, investing in the quality of
life, and devolving power. Budget 2015 announces:-
Further new transport investment.
► Transport for the North will shortly publish an interim report, committing to
build on the concept of HS3 to develop a network of high quality rail
connections across the north, bring the benefits of HS2 to the north sooner than
planned, and work towards a single smart and integrated ticketing system across
Further investments in science and innovation.
► Investing £20m in Health North, with centres in the North West, to enable
better care for patients and promote innovation through the analysis of data on
the effectiveness of different drugs, treatments and health pathways;
► Investing £11m to accelerate and support the development of high tech business
in the north. Entrepreneurial hubs will create thriving local ecosystems by
nurturing start ups, fostering collaboration and providing mentorship, learning
and business support. In Manchester, the Forward Plan will see £4m Government
Investment towards an 8 floor hub in Federation House, located in Manchester's
► Extending the successful Enterprise Zones at Manchester and Mersey Waters and
creating a new Enterprise Zone at Blackpool Airport which will redevelop 175,000
sqm of industrial floor-space and leverage £300m in private sector investment
and potentially 2,000 jobs by 2020/21;
► After business case completion, the government will also create a new
Enterprise Zone at Blackpool.
Investments in the quality of life
► Government has designated a new Housing Zone in Preston, and will continue to
work to support develop zones in Wirral Waters and Lancashire. In total these
have the potential to deliver over 5,500 homes by regenerating brownfield sites;
► The Muni theatre in Pendle will get a £56,000 refurbishment as part of the
commitment to culture in the region.
Further devolution of power.
► Devolving further power to the North West, by announcing a pilot scheme in
Greater Manchester and Cheshire East, to enable those areas to retain 100% of
any additional business rate growth above expected forecasts, beginning in
April, subject to formal approval from the Greater Manchester Combined
The new measures will help build on the Long Term Economic Plan for the North
West announced by the Prime Minister and Chancellor in January. The plan sets a
goal to increase the size of the North West economy by an extra £18 billion in
real terms by 2030, equivalent to over £2,000 per person, and to raise the
employment rate so that there are over 100,000 more people in employment in the
region during the next Parliament.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said:- "The North West has the
fastest employment growth in the country, and has created 117,000 jobs over the
last year alone. This Budget builds on the long term economic plan for the North
West that I set out in January, which aims to add an extra £18 billion to the
local economy, create another 100,000 extra jobs and invest £4.5 billion in
better transport. This is a Budget for a truly national recovery. We are
investing in better transport for the North West to join up the north,
supporting the North West's strengths in health science and tech, backing
innovative businesses by extending enterprise zones at Manchester and Mersey
Waters, and creating a new Enterprise Zone for Blackpool. Following the ground
breaking devolution deal for Greater Manchester, we have reached provisional
agreement to allow Greater Manchester and Cheshire East to keep 100% of the
additional growth in local business rates as we build up the Northern
Powerhouse. For where Cities grow their economies through local initiatives; let
me be clear; we will support and reward them. This Budget marks another
milestone in our plan to build a Northern Powerhouse, and our plan is working
for people in the North West. We mustn't turn back now."
So what do you make of the Budget this your? Email us your
firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you think!
Mayor's top 5 priorities for
the 2015 Budget
MAYOR of Liverpool, Joe Anderson,
outlines his 5 key priorities for the City.
1. Fair funding deal
"Between 2010 and 2017, government grants to Liverpool City Council will
be cut by 58%; some £330 million. This is a hammer blow to our finances and
forces the Council to innovate in the ways we operate and provide services. But
innovation only gets us so far. The scale of cuts we are dealing with is
unprecedented and unsustainable beyond 2017. In fact, if we were just facing the
average national funding cut, we would be £80 million a year better off."
We are asking for a fair funding formula from Government, not 1 that penalises
Cities like Liverpool!
"Under current plans, there is no proposal to extend the HS2 line to
Liverpool. This is a massive mistake. As well as an estimated £8.3bn boost to
the Liverpool City Region (Merseyside), HS2 would bring 14,000 new jobs, raise an estimated
£30 million in extra business rates, boost the visitor economy and help us
capitalise on our plans to become a global logistics hub, linking our Superport
proposals with the rest of the UK."
Extend HS2 to Liverpool; 20 more miles than currently planned!
3. "Devo Scouse" package...
"If Cities like Liverpool are to become part of the "Northern Powerhouse"
we need the powers and economic levers to match the aspiration. Greater control
over transport to improve connectivity. Powers over spatial planning and housing
to drive regeneration and sustainable development. The ability to work with
business to deliver the skills base we need to compete. But Manchester shows
where the bar is now set. We need the same package of measures they have in
order to develop our potential to the full. In order to properly integrate NHS
services with social care, we need to see the real devolution of decision making
and budgets. To make this package truly transformational, we also need real
political clout. That's why I remain committed to a metro mayor for the
Liverpool City Region and for Merseyside."
Real powers, new budgets and a fresh approach to City Region (Merseyside) governance - Give us
4. Rescue social care...
"From April, Councils like Liverpool will implement the Care Act, bringing
with it a new national standard for assessing care needs. But with an ageing
population, the pressures on social care budgets are now relentless. Cuts to our
grant mean we are reducing adult social care spending by £42 million by 2017. If
we are to bridge the aspirations of the Care Act with the reality of a shrinking
budget, then the Government needs to act."
Urgently review social care funding allocations to match resources to need.
5. Ring fence Children's Centres...
"If we are serious about tackling deprivation, then we need to address it
in childhood. Despite the budget cuts we face and despite the fact Children's
Centres are primarily a discretionary area of spending, we have decided to
guarantee an extra £2.2 million to keep all our 17 children's centres open until
2017. If the government is equally serious about giving our kids the best start
in life and practical support for families there is a simple remedy for all
Ring fence funding for Children's Centres.