Chris Ames 15 March 2023

Hunt stumps up tens of billions for infrastructure

Hunt stumps up tens of billions for infrastructure image

The chancellor has announced 'up to' £20bn for carbon capture and storage, alongside a new round of funding for city regions in England and £1bn for Levelling up.

Announcing his Spring Budget, Jeremy Hunt said that the capital funding figures that he announced in his Autumn Statement in November will be maintained.

A second round of funding through the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements will provide £8.8bn, covering 2027-28 to 2031-32, with funding for Greater Manchester and the West Midlands to be included in their Single Settlements.

The Treasury said the cash will help to develop mass transit networks and sustainable transport options across England's city regions.

However, Claire Harding, research director at the Centre for London said the lack of any new money for some of the city’s big schemes like the Bakerloo Line extension 'is notable by its absence'.

A third round of the Levelling Up Fund will proceed as planned later in 2023 with a further £1bn. The Treasury said this will help to invest in new local priority infrastructure projects across the country.

This includes more than £200m for local regeneration projects in areas of need, and £400m for new Levelling Up Partnerships for twenty areas in England 'most in need of levelling up'.

Among measures to tackle climate change, Mr Hunt announced £20bn to support carbon capture and storage projects across the United Kingdom.

He also announced nuclear power would be added to the definition of sustainable energy, making it eligible for the same tax breaks as renewable energy, as well as the creation of a body called Great British Nuclear, which will support the nuclear industry and invest in modular reactors.

Mr Hunt said this 'will bring down costs and develop opportunities across the nuclear supply chain, to help provide one quarter of our electricity by 2050'.

He also announced one-off allocations for schemes to repair infrastructure in Scotland and Wales.

The government is providing £1.5m to Moray Council, subject to the business case, to help fund repairs to Cloddach Bridge in Moray and £20m for the Welsh Government to restore the Holyhead Breakwater.

This article was originally published by Transport Network.

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