Chancellor backs Northern Powerhouse in Budget

Investments in transport, education, health and social care will provide boosts for people living across the North of England, as the Chancellor today set out his maiden Budget.

Included in his first Budget were investments to ensure that economic growth is shared across every part of the country, including a range of announcements to benefit people living across the Northern Powerhouse specifically.

The Chancellor set out his Budget amid a backdrop of strong economic growth across the Northern Powerhouse. Productivity is on the rise, contributing more than £316 billion to the UK economy in 2015 – up almost £40 billion since 2010. Employment is also on the up – with 469,000 more people in work in the North during the same period.

As the UK prepares to leave the EU, the Chancellor set out today that it’s more important than ever to make the most of the opportunities ahead and to help the North achieve its potential.

Today's announcements include:

  • £147 million to boost roads and local transport across the region. This will support new projects across Northern networks including road improvements in Blackpool, bringing forward improved access to the M65 near Blackburn with Darwen and upgrades to Brownhill roundabout, resurfacing and improving the A483 and A55 in preparation for the expansion of Chester Business Park, and structural upgrades to Tickton Bridge over the River Hull. The government will shortly announce further details about where the rest of this investment will go

  • A new £690 million fund from the National Productivity Investment Fund, which councils across the North will be able to access for local transport projects

  • News that students at the National College for Nuclear in Cumbria and Somerset, the National College for High Speed Rail in Doncaster and Birmingham, and the National College for Onshore Oil and Gas in Blackpool will also benefit from further education maintenance loans from 2019/20 to support those studying high-level technical qualifications in the North

  • Subject to consultation, local authorities in the North including the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber will be funded to be able to collectively provide £28.4 million in 2017-18 to support businesses facing the steepest increases following the business rates revaluation

  • A commitment to spend half a billion pounds reforming England’s technical education system which Northern teens aged 16-19 are set to benefit from

The NHS was given the funding it said was needed to continue to improve standards of care - with an additional £10 billion by 2020.

Today’s Budget announced a further £425 million of new funding for the NHS including £100 million to help improve A&E triage services, and £325 million to support local plans to transform services.