Bruntwood Responds to Government's Spring Budget
Our Director of Strategic Partnerships and Impact, Jessica Bowles, shares her comments on the 2023 spring budget.
Commenting on the recommitment to Investment Zones:
“Improving resilience cannot be done without a ‘place’ perspective. For this reason, the Government’s reworked commitment to Investment Zones is welcomed, particularly in Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, West Yorkshire and the West Midlands, which have huge potential due to their existing innovation and knowledge hubs aligned to their leading universities. We also hope that the Government will move quickly on establishing a similar scheme in Scotland, as promised.
“We believe this clustering with universities is key, as their strengths can be used to support regeneration and provide tailored responses to local issues ensuring they have the greatest impact and catalyse change. By doing this, people can come together, generate ideas, build on key strengths and create more productive clusters, and ultimately contribute to the wider levelling up agenda.”
Commenting on any changes to devolution:
“For a number of years now, there has been a need and appetite for a more radical devolution of decision-making power to places.
“We know that power and accountability for local decisions on investment have a far greater impact for the future of places. The Chancellor’s commitment to increasing fiscal responsibility to the Mayor’s of the West Midlands and Greater Manchester is a big step in establishing the principle of local decision-making and providing these areas with the opportunity to make changes that are most relevant to their needs. This is something we believe will be crucial in stimulating growth in the long-term, and we hope it will be the start of even greater collaboration between local authorities and central government moving forward.
“At the same time, we believe that the Government should focus on investing in things only the Government can invest in, such as improvements to national infrastructure. So, this transfer of power – and hopefully more in the future – will allow this to happen more often.”