Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda shines a light on Yorkshire & the North East

Ben Hall, Head of Colliers’ Leeds office

Ben Hall, Head of Colliers’ Leeds office, comments:

“It is really refreshing to receive so much positive investment into our region, with Yorkshire and the North East being right at the centre of the Government’s levelling-up’ agenda. The proposed Freeports on the east coast could be a real game-changer for their respective local economies. This, along with the north shoring to Darlington and the National Infrastructure Bank in Leeds, will bring enhanced inward investment and job creation to the North. What we need to see now is these announcements built upon. If we see action along with much-needed infrastructure investment, the future will be bright!”

Dr Walter Boettcher, UK Chief Economist at Colliers, added the budget contained ‘much to be optimistic about’ for the UK property sector.

“The Chancellor’s contention that this was a budget to support an investment-led recovery is supported by numerous measures to break the logjam of business uncertainty and renewed investment. New capital allowances, especially extension of loss carry-back to 3 years, and a new 130% ‘super deduction’ on plant & machinery investments, including a

“The budget’s ‘rabbit out of the hat’ was an announcement of a new National Infrastructure Bank in Leeds with £12 billion in capitalisation to support a ‘green industrial revolution’. Likewise, announcement of a new HM Treasury campus in Darlington, freeports across the UK with 100% capital allowances, as well as a plethora of investments across all regions, suggests that this budget was not about London. In fact, London is only ‘name-checked’ once in the 107-page budget report and in connection with promoting it as a leading venue for global voluntary carbon markets for high-quality offsets.

“In looking through the 33 regional projects detailed on page 56 of the Budget 2021 Report , the targeting goes beyond the relatively new local combined authorities and includes Growth Deals in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The evidence suggests that the Government is seeking to begin delivering on its election manifesto of ‘levelling up’ despite severe constraints on the public purse.

“Of fundamental importance will be the role of private capital in achieving government aims. In this respect, worries about missteps in the budget undermining business confidence at a crucial moment in the UK recovery proved unfounded.

“For UK real estate, residential and commercial, there was much to be optimistic about given new housing market stimulus and only a modest change to capital gains through freezing the allowance threshold, but the key budget support looks to be linked to supporting the fledgling recovery in business confidence.”