The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, published his first, and last, Spring Budget last week. This article looks to highlight the infrastructure spending initiatives that have been announced and the impact and opportunity they may have for your business.
With the triggering of Article 50 and the UK’s subsequent departure from the European Union looming in the near future, the Chancellor claimed that this Budget will “prepare Britain for a brighter future.” Whilst there has been some debate about who will win and who will lose based on the Budget, there is no doubt that significant investment is set to be made into infrastructure spending.
The Scottish, Welsh and Irish Governments are all set to see substantial increases in investment for infrastructure projects. Scotland will see an increase of over £800 million, Wales an increase of over £400 million and Northern Ireland an increase of over £250 million.
The National Productivity Investment Fund
The National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) will provide major additional spending to the tune of £23 billion in areas that are seen as key to boosting productivity and ensuring that the UK’s economy is ‘fit for the future’. These areas include:
- Digital Communications
- Research and Development (R&D)
The NPIF also includes new funding to tackle urban congestion and funding for roads in the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine.
A total of £102 billion will be spent on education in 2017/18.
£320 million will be invested to fund free schools and £216 million will be invested into school maintenance projects, while a free transport scheme for children from poorer families will be implemented at selected schools.
The Chancellor announced £250 million is to be invested over the next four years in building a pipeline of highly skilled research talent necessary to keep the economy stimulated and keep it growing and innovative.
This figure is being split two ways. £90 million will be provided for an additional 1000 PhD places in areas aligned with the Government’s Industrial Strategy, and a further £160 million will be made available to support new fellowships for early and mid-career researchers in areas aligned to the Industrial Strategy.
A £500 million investment will be made into technical education for 16 to 19 year olds with new so called ‘T-levels’ to be introduced in Autumn 2019. Courses will be made available in fifteen different areas such as construction, digital or agriculture and all students will take part in an industry work placement as part of their studies.
£210 million will be invested in creating new fellowships, including programmes aimed at attracting top global talent to conduct research in areas such as bioscience and biotechnology, quantum technologies and satellite and space technology.
In the healthcare sector, the Government has promised significant investment. £149 billion will be spent in 2017/18 with an additional £425 million for investment in the NHS to come over the next three years. Of that money, £325 million will be spent on improving patient services in local areas, while £100 million has been earmarked for accident and emergency departments in 2017/18 to prepare for winter pressures on A&E and provide more on-site GP facilities.
£2 billion will be invested in adult social care over the next three years, with the aim of proving high-quality social care to more people to help ease the considerable pressure on the NHS.
£37 billion will be spent on transport in 2017/18. £690 million will be spent on new local transport projects with an initial £490 million to be made available in early autumn 2017. This funding is allocated by the NPIF with the aim of improving congestion on roads and public transport. Of this £690 million, £220 million will be invested to improve congestion points on national roads, £90 million going to the North and £23 million going to the Midlands.
Whilst most details of individual schemes will be announced by the Department of Transport soon, it has already been confirmed that improvements will be made to the A483 corridor in Cheshire and on the Leicester Outer Ring Road.
Making the most of opportunities with Tracker
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