Cheshire and Warrington LEP Budget response

In response to the Chancellor’s 2020 Budget, Christine Gaskell CBE DL commented:

 Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership welcomes the announcements in the Chancellor’s 2020 Budget that will support growth and build economic resilience in our region.  The LEP is particularly pleased to see commitment from the Government to delivering:  

  • A £387 million extension to the Local Growth Fund: Cheshire and Warrington LEP is ready to bid to secure a share of this funding to support vital infrastructure and regeneration projects.  The LEPs existing £500m Local Growth Fund has supported projects such as the M62 Birchwood Junction improvements, Poynton Relief Road, Chester Bus Station and the Congleton relief road with additional funding allowing us to continue to invest in vital projects that will ensure the right conditions for growth.
  • Significant additional funding for Growth Hubs to facilitate enhanced levels of business advice and guidance for small and medium sized businesses:  It is vital that businesses can readily access relevant and professional support and over the past 12 months, Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub has worked extensively to help our businesses prepare for Brexit.  The team are now gearing up to be the key source of information for businesses as we work through Covid-19.
  • £800m commitment to fund two Carbon Capture Storage sites in the UK:  Cheshire and Warrington’s ambition is to create the first net zero carbon industrial cluster on the south bank of the Mersey, building further on the recent announcement of £7.5m for a low carbon hydrogen plant at the Essar Refinery in Stanlow.  The LEP will work together with strategic partners including HyNet –  owned by Cadent, the region’s supplier of gas to homes and businesses – and our partners in Liverpool to secure one of the storage sites in our region, helping to leverage Cheshire and Warrington’s crucial contribution to creating a greener, cleaner region.
  • £2.5 billion for an Adult skills fund: The LEP will be working closely with the Department for Education to secure a share of this funding to complement and extend Accelerate Cheshire and Warrington, an £30m skills programme that between now and 2022 will develop the technical skills of over 19,000 adult learners across Cheshire and Warrington.
  • £200m investment in Life Sciences Firms through the British Business Bank: Cheshire and Warrington have an existing Life Sciences Investment Fund, delivered in partnership with Greater Manchester that supports investment in businesses at Alderley Park, the UK’s largest single site life science campus, and across the wider region.  We look forward to working with the British Business Bank to ensure more of our businesses benefit from this funding boost.