LEP Chair Pat Doody provides his thoughts on today's Budget announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak

The Chancellor’s announcement today of further support for businesses affected by the pandemic is most welcome. The extension of furlough until September, additional support for the self-employed and re-start grants to support businesses to restart after lockdown will all make a big difference when our economy starts to re-open.  

The extension to the VAT reduction for hospitality, accommodation and visitor attractions is of particular benefit in Greater Lincolnshire where we have a large and normally thriving hospitality sector. 

We are delighted that our bid for a Humber Freeport has been successful. We have worked in partnership with the private and public sector to develop a compelling bid for freeports on both sides of the Humber, and it is one that we know exporters and importers will welcome.  

A Humber Freeport will turbocharge our economy and support levelling up in our area, bringing increased investment of £3.5bn and around 7,000 high-quality new jobs.   

The announcement that BEIS will provide financial support towards the development of a major portside hub on the Able Marine Energy Park on the South Humber Bank to strengthen the UK’s offshore wind manufacturing capacity is fantastic news for our area. Locally the funding will enable up to 3,000 jobs and facilitate significant international inward investment in the area.   

There was also welcome clarity in the Chancellor’s speech about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund which will support communities as the Government moves away from EU structural funds.  

And we hope that the new Levelling Up Fund will provide further investment in infrastructure such as town centre and high street regeneration, local transports projects and cultural and heritage assets.  

The Greater Lincolnshire LEP will work closely with Lincolnshire County Council and others to ensure our voice is heard when it comes to attracting much-needed funding to our area.