The Northern Powerhouse is the government’s vision for the North of England, built on the solid economic theory that while the individual cities and towns of the North are strong, if they are enabled to pool their strengths, they could be stronger. Better transport, more support for science and innovation; investment in culture; devolving powers and budgets should give people in northern cities and towns a stronger voice!
- £13 million goes to Hull UK City of Culture 2017. This includes £5 million towards the refurbishment of Hull New Theatre and £8 million to ensure there is a lasting cultural legacy in Hull
- £500,000 to Welcome To Yorkshire for an international marketing campaign for the Tour de Yorkshire 2016 and also support for plans to bid to host the Rugby League World Cup in the Northern Powerhouse
- The government has agreed a new mayoral devolution deal with Greater Lincolnshire. This will give Greater Lincolnshire significant new powers over transport, planning, and skills. Greater Lincolnshire will also receive control of a £450 million investment fund over 30 years to boost economic growth.
- £60 million to develop High Speed 3 between Leeds and Manchester by 2017 bringing journey times to around 30 minutes and to improve transport connections between cities of the North.
- Bids are invited from northern cities and towns to host the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018
- Here is an overview of the New investment across the United Kingdom
- The next round of the Coastal Communities Fund, for projects starting in 2017-18, will open for applications this summer. The CCF funds projects across the UK which support sustainable economic growth and jobs in coastal communities.
- The government is nationally supporting SME access to finance, setting out a £1 billion package to support SMEs through the British Business Bank. It will support the first loans under its Help to Grow programme from spring 2016, supporting at least £200 million of lending.
- Nationally The Local Growth Fund will give Local Enterprise Partnerships control over £12 billion of central government funding, ensuring that this money is spent in line with local priorities. Up to £1.8 billion will be allocated through a further round of Growth Deals with Local Enterprise Partnerships later this year., announcing further detail on the process for the next round of Growth Deals soon. A further £2 billion of the Local Growth Fund is being allocated through the Home Building Fund, to provide finance to developers to unlock large housing sites and bring forward the necessary infrastructure that large house building projects require.
- Exporters will receive more help to access trade finance. Steps that aim to cut UK Export Finance (UKEF) transaction times in half are being trialled.
- Duty rates on beer, spirits and most ciders will be frozen this year to help pubs.
- Fuel duty will be frozen again in 2016-17, saving the typical motorist £75 a year. The main rate of fuel duty for petrol and diesel will remain frozen at 57.95 pence per litre in 2016-2017
- Small businesses that occupy property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will pay no business rates from April 2017
- Pay as you go tax payments will be available from 2018. All businesses, self-employed people and landlords who keep their records digitally and provide regular digital updates to HMRC can voluntarily adopt pay-as-you-go tax payments that suit them to better manage their cashflow
- HMRC will be available 7 days a week by 2017, extended hours and Sunday opening on online services and the tax and tax credits phone lines, so that people and businesses have more opportunity to contact HMRC outside of working hours
Midlands Engine for Growth – The East Midlands had the strongest productivity growth between 2010 and 2014 of any region, the Budget contains measures to support industry and growth in the Midlands, with a focus on supporting the development of Midlands Connect’s long-term transport strategy and the region’s traditional strengths in manufacturing and engineering.
The government has agreed with LEPs in the Midlands and the British Business Bank to create a Midlands Engine Investment Fund of over £250 million to invest in smaller businesses in the Midlands, subject to final funding arrangements.
Offshore property developers
The government will introduce legislation in Finance Bill 2016 to ensure offshore structures cannot be used to avoid UK tax on profits that are generated from developing UK property.
HMRC will also create a task force to focus on offshore property developers. This task force will target offshore structures used to avoid tax on profits and rental income from property development in the UK. The task force aims to achieve a long term improvement in taxpayer compliance.