On October 27th, Rishi Sunak announced his plans for the UK’s finances and economy in the Autumn Budget.

 

From pay rises for public sector workers to an increase in the National Living Wage, the Chancellor had a packed agenda – but how will the changes affect businesses and individuals right here in the Tees Valley?

 

Transport

 

Rishi discussed how £310 million will be invested to help revolutionise travel across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.

 

The cash will be used to boost infrastructure such as:

 

  • Improving train stations in Darlington, Eaglescliffe, Hartlepool, South Bank and Redcar
  • Train line improvements
  • Gauge clearance to help improve freight links
  • Maintenance on the A66, critical for Freeport links
  • Road improvements
  • Bus priority road improvements
  • Bus shelters
  • New cycleways

 

In particular, the funding will be used to make bus travel easier, more reliable and more consistent across the region. This will allow people to choose public transport options where it hasn’t previously been feasible or easy to access.

 

More cycle routes will also be created and improved across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, making cycling safer and more convenient.

 

Better connectivity across the region is integral to ensuring people can get into the new high-skilled, well-paid jobs that will be created across the areas.

 

Levelling Up Fund

 

A Levelling Up Fund bid of £20 million for Yarm and Eaglescliffe – which will help local communities – was also successful.

 

The boost will be used for a new exhibition centre at Preston Park and new public toilets in Yarm, which brought praise from people South of the river after it was granted in the Budget.

 

Improvements lined up for Preston Park include regenerating the aviary, improving the cafe, better parking to mitigate traffic problem and renovating the toilets.

 

New toilets, cycle parking and new cycle routes are also set to benefit Yarm.

 

Freeport

 

In the last Budget, in March 2021, the Tees Valley region was successful in securing a Freeport for Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.

 

After months of hard work on the bid from Mayor Houchen, the five local councils and businesses that rely on the River Tees to trade, the Government confirmed that the Teesside freeport will not only be the largest in the UK, but also be the first operational freeport in the country, after opening on November 1st.

 

Teesside is ground zero for net zero and the Freeport is a huge part of this, as the country is led by our hydrogen, carbon capture utilisation and storage, and offshore wind initiatives. 

 

Investing in the net zero initiative goes hand in hand with creating more opportunity and prosperity for the region, delivering cleaner, safer and healthier jobs and communities.

 

Construction on the GE Renewable Energy Plant is due to begin next month and will bring 2,250 jobs manufacturing offshore wind turbine blades for Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

 

This is great news for the region as it will ensure thousands of green, well-paid manufacturing jobs in the area.

 

Air passenger duty cut

 

Teesside Airport is a key asset for keeping the region connected and competitive, and will continue to help attract more investment and jobs within the area.

 

In the 2022 Budget, it was announced that air passenger duty on domestic flights will be cut by 50 per cent from April 2023, making it cheaper and easier to fly to the UK destinations on offer from Teesside.

 

Some of the domestic flights include:

 

  • London
  • Aberdeen
  • Southampton
  • Bristol
  • Belfast
  • Newquay
  • Jersey

 

For more information on the rest of the Autumn Budget key points, visit our blog and if you have any questions on how it may affect your business, get in touch with our team on 01642 244090 or info@chuhanandsingh.co.uk.