On the eve of its annual conference, the Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership has welcomed many of the measures in the Chancellor’s Budget speech announced yesterday (Wednesday).

Pat Doody welcomed Rishi Sunak’s announcement that Humber, Teesside and Thames will be the first operational freeports and can begin initial operations from November 2021 – a huge boost for the south bank of the Humber.

The LEP has been a key partner in the creation of the Humber Freeport, which has been identified as one of Greater Lincolnshire’s ‘game changers’.

He also applauded the 50% business rate discount for retail and hospitality businesses and the draught relief tax support for pubs – sectors which have been the most dramatically impacted during the pandemic.

“Large parts of this Budget speech represent a shot in the arm for businesses and communities in Greater Lincolnshire and Rutland, such as the business rate discount and commitment to increased levels of business support,” said Pat.

“It’s great to see some levelling up fund bids announced in the first wave too, including Gainsborough town centre improvements and the A16 road scheme to improve access to employment between Boston and Spalding.

“The Universal Credit taper cut and the speed at which will be implemented are also very welcome, supporting lower paid workers and helping job seekers transition into work.”  

Pat Doody was also pleased to hear positive announcements about post-16 skills and training – a high priority for the Greater Lincolnshire LEP.

“All additional funds for training our young people and adults are welcome,” he said. “It’s good to see the first details of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, and we’re pleased to hear about the £2.8 billion in capital investment in skills to improve the condition of post-16 estate and provide more specialist equipment and facilities for learners.”

With COP26 on the horizon the Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP also welcomed the selection of the East Coast Cluster (combining Teesside and Humberside) as one of two carbon capture utilisation and storage clusters to be deployed by the mid-2020s – an indication of the importance of the Humber cluster to the nation’s Net Zero ambitions.

“We have further ambitions for this sector in our area and will continue to champion the Humber and Greater Lincolnshire as a location which can help the Government to achieve its Net Zero ambitions,” said Pat.

“We look forward to seeing the contents of the Levelling Up White Paper before the end of the year. This will cover spreading opportunity, improving public services, boosting living standards, restoring local pride and empowering local leaders and communities.

“All these issues feature strongly in our thinking and will be discussed at next week’s annual LEP conference.”

For a full summary of the Chancellor’s Budget and Spending Review visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/autumn-budget-and-spending-review-2021-documents