Spending Review: Coventry and Warwickshire impact

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said she welcomed the news that enterprise should be boosted by removing burdens and barriers to growth.

She said: “I think the majority of business leaders would agree with the reduction of borrowing from £137 billion to £108 billion because you cannot borrow your way out of an economic recession.

“Extensive research by the British Chambers of Commerce highlighted that businesses wanted government spending to be moved to capital investment and the announcement that £100 million in capital investment is to be invested in infrastructure projects is encouraging.

“Capital investment is needed to keep pace with a global economy and to provide places where people want to live and work which emphasises the need to invest in infrastructure projects although not all business leaders in the sub-region are convinced with the business case on HS2.

“The continued funding and support for UKTI is encouraging news since Coventry and Warwickshire’s UKTI team, which is employed by the Chamber, work relentlessly to assist local businesses to export for the first time or increase their export base which is all about real growth and real job creation.

“I am also really pleased that more funds are going to be available for apprenticeships but we await detail.

“Local Government is also making savings but I’m not sure if an investment in affordable housing is the kind of housing that the construction sector has been desperately calling for.

“In Coventry and Warwickshire, a mix of executive and affordable housing is crucial to our inward investment aspirations.

“We found that LEPs are to bid for £2 billion from a Single Local Growth Fund and more details will be announced at a later date but this won’t go far among 39 LEPs!

“Admittedly, it should be a competitive process as some LEPs, such as Coventry and Warwickshire, have solid plans and a growth strategy which will form the basis of our bid.”