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Spring Budget 2023: Investment zones confirmed along with regeneration and Levelling Up partnerships

  • 15/03/2023
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Spring Budget 2023: Investment zones confirmed along with regeneration and Levelling Up partnerships
The government has said it will create 12 investment zones across the UK, put £200m into regeneration projects and plough £400m into Levelling Up partnerships.

In the Spring Budget today, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed that it would deliver 12 “investment zones” across the UK, which he called 12 “potential Canary Wharfs”.

Canary Wharf was a regeneration project undertaken by a previous Conservative government, which was praised by Hunt in his speech.

He continued that it had identified the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Midlands, Teesside and Liverpool as areas that could host an “investment zone”.

Hunt added that there would be at least one in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with four in total across these areas.

“To be chosen, each area must identify a location where they can operate both an imaginative partnership between local government and the university or research institutes in a way that catalyses new innovation clusters,” he explained.

Hunt added that if the application was successful, they would have access to £80m of support over five years for a “range of interventions” including skills, infrastructure, tax relief, business rates retention and grant funding.

The Chancellor said that each cluster would “drive growth” in at least one area such as green industries, digital technologies, life sciences, creative industries and advanced manufacturing.


Government to invest £200m in regeneration projects

Hunt added that the government would provide over £200m in funding to 16 high quality local regeneration projects in England.

The Budget report added that the projects would start from this year and investment had been aimed at “left-behind places” cited in the Levelling Up white paper or were under £10m and could ensure quick delivery.

This includes projects in Wigan, Blackpool, Tendring, Kirklees, Telford and Wrekin, Salford, Waltham Forest, East Suffolk, Sandwell, Redcar and Cleveland, Tameside, Blackburn with Darwen, Wolverhampton, Northumberland, Rotherham and North East Lincolcnshire.

The report added that £58m would be invested in three Levelling Up capital projects in the Northwest, including in Stockport, Bootle and Rossendale.

The Community Ownership Fund, which offers funding to areas across the UK to allow community groups to take ownership of assets at risk of closure, has received further funding to back an additional 30 projects.


Up to £400m on Levelling Up partnerships

Hunt added that the government would provide a further £400m for Levelling Up partnerships to fuel local growth.

This includes areas such as City of Kingston upon Hull, Sandwell, Mansfield, Middlesborough, Blackburn with Darwen, Hastings, Torbay, Tendring, Stoke on Trent, Boston, Redcar and Cleveland, Wakefield, Oldham, Rother, Torridge, Walsall, Doncaster, South Tyneside, Rochdale and Bassetlaw.

The Budget report said that investment would be decided an on a “case-by-case basis” and in each place, the government would work with local leaders, council mayors and combined authorities, local businesses, community organisations and residents to “identify and address the biggest barriers to levelling up”.

The report added that a third round of the Levelling Up fund would process as planned for later this year with a further £1bn to “level up places in the UK”.

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