Budget 2021: What does it mean for the South East?

In full: Watch the chancellor deliver his Budget

Rishi Sunak set out plans for the country's post-pandemic economic recovery in his Autumn Budget speech on Wednesday (October 27).

The chancellor told the Commons the “three building blocks” of his Budget were “strong public services, infrastructure innovation and skills, and support for working families”.

However, he admitted inflation, which is currently at a nine-year high, is "likely to rise further" amid supply chain woes and a surge in global energy prices.

This means the high level of inflation is set to severely hamper the salary hike, workers earning minimum wage will receive, after an increase to the National Living Wage was announced earlier this week.

But the chancellor said his goal is for taxes to be reduced by the end of this Parliament - in theory, May 2024 - despite increasing National Insurance contributions for workers.

What does it mean for the South East?

West Sussex

  • Revitalising the Alexandra Theatre in Bognor Regis

East Sussex

  • Widening Exceat Bridge in Seaford

  • Revitalising Hove’s seafront

  • Pedestrianising Victoria Place in Eastbourne

  • Building two new Fish Stage Landings and a Centre of Excellence at Newhaven

Hove seafront will be revitalised as part of Rishi Sunak's plans Credit: PA

Hampshire & the Isle of Wight

  • Creating the longest urban Linear Park in the UK in North Portsmouth

  • Improving the iconic Columbine Building in the Isle of Wight shipyard

  • £986,000 total funding for the John Jenkins Stadium, Portsmouth

  • £250,000 total funding for the Community Stores, East Boldre

  • £7 million development funding to restore passenger rail links between Totton and Fawley

  • £63 million investment in Southampton through the Transforming Cities Fund, including for developing new rapid bus links


  • Transforming five hectares of brownfield into Ashford International Film Studios

  • Establishing Margate Digital to deliver technical qualifications to 200 learners a year

  • Redeveloping the Port and Royal Harbour in Ramsgate

  • Repairing the Brook Theatre in Chatham Town Centre

  • £250,000 total funding for the George pub, Bethersden

  • Allocation of share of £70 million Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) funding to deliver around 33 zero emission buses on two bus rapid transit routes in Kent


  • £125 million for construction of the Natural History Museum research centre at Harwell in Oxfordshire

Other announcements:


  • Over £495 million of local roads maintenance funding between 2022-23 and 2024-25 (enough to fill over 7 million potholes over the next 3 years) and over £141 million for smaller transport improvement priorities through the Integrated Transport Block

  • £2.6 billion for local road upgrades over this Parliament including the Redbridge Causeway in Hampshire and the A284 Lyminster Bypass in West Sussex as well as confirming the development of the A259 Bognor Regis to Littlehampton scheme in West Sussex to the next stage of development – which will include improvements to junctions and a major renewal to a road bridge over the River Arun.

  • £24 billion strategic road investments, including the Lower Thames Crossing, one of the largest strategic road investments in a generation.

Artist's impression of the Lower Thames Crossing


  • In 2021/2022 the Government is building 7 Community Diagnostic Centres in the South East, which expand diagnostic capacity whilst targeting investment at areas of deprivation. We are funding £2.3 billion over the Spending Review period for diagnostics across the country, which can increase the number of Community Diagnostic Centres in regions like the South East over the next three years.

Jobs & Education

  • Over £2.6 billion for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund over the Spending Review, focused on helping people into jobs and get on in life across the UK, including giving hundreds of thousands of adults the opportunity to develop their numeracy skills though the Adult Numeracy Programme ‘Multiply’.

  • £560 million funding over the Spending Review for the Youth Investment Fund and National Citizen Service.


  • £5 billion for Project Gigabit, rolling out gigabit capable broadband for homes and businesses across the UK.