Development and Infrastructure Headlines
The 24 November saw the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, deliver his first Autumn Statement to Parliament. This provided a number of eye-catching announcements aimed at further stimulating housing and economic development in an uncertain economic environment, including:
- A £2.3 billion infrastructure fund to help provide 100,000 new homes in high-demand areas;
- £1.4 billion to deliver 40,000 extra affordable homes;
- A £23 billion National Productivity and Investment Fund to be targeted at four areas that the Treasury describes as “critical for productivity” – transport, digital communications, research and development, and housing;
- An additional £1.8 billion allocation to the Local Growth Fund, administered by Local Enterprise Partnerships throughout England, which delivers significant infrastructure investment to unlock major housing and economic development schemes;
- An extra £1.1 billion investment in English local transport schemes, to be allocated to Local Highway Authorities on a competitive basis;
- £220 million to address congestion hotspots on the motorway and trunk road network administered by Highways England; and
- A commitment to increase national infrastructure spending from 0.8% of GDP annually to between 1.0% and 1.2% of GDP annually from 2020.
Much of the detail around the projects that will ultimately be funded through these announcements is yet to be revealed and will become apparent over the coming weeks.