AS2011: Good day for Peel as Osborne singles out key schemes

The Chancellor's autumn statement must have hit the right note for Peel Group which saw its Atlantic Gateway plan name-checked and its Mersey Waters scheme receive a financial boost.

While detailing the government's commitment to a raft of infrastructure projects George Osborne said it would help turn, "Atlantic Gateway into a reality".

Atlantic Gateway is Peel's long-term, £50bn framework to develop land along the Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal, made up of a dozen major projects.

Despite the verbal mention from Osborne, Place could find no reference to the Atlantic Gateway in the Treasury's full 98-page written report. Of the Atlantic Gateway projects, Port Salford and Mersey Waters in Liverpool and Wirral, have received Regional Growth Fund and Enterprise Zone awards respectively from the Coalition.

Osborne said six enterprise zones including Mersey Waters will benefit from capital allowances of 100%.

This means the full cost of plant and machinery investment from April 2012 and March 2017 can be set against earnings for tax purposes.

Chris Lloyd, associate director at DTZ in Manchester, said: "It's interesting to note that the Chancellor has begun to heed some of the advice set out in the Lord Heseltine and Sir Terry Leahy report on Liverpool by giving further backing to the proposed Atlantic Gateway proposals.

"Some more detail was also provided on the enterprise zone and on 100% capital allowances, which should give Liverpool the edge in speculative development in the next couple of years against other regional centres."

Osborne also said he would extend the small business rate relief holiday for six months to October 2012 and there will be the opportunity to defer 60% of the increase in 2012-13 over two years.

But Peter Chapman, head of rating and compensation at London property consultant Cluttons, described this move as "too little, too late".

"The extended business rates relief will no doubt help some small companies weather the economic storm, but whether it will make any significant impact on the UK's financial state is doubtful. Many of the small businesses which would have benefited from the support earlier are no longer sustainable: this move is simply not enough to save them."

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

Great news! Also coincides with the new e-petition that has been launched showing that everyday people actually support Liverpool Waters. I think the heritage lobby has had quite enough publicity, with the voices of supporters not being heard. Please sign this petition if you think that Liverpool Waters should not be reduced further and that government should support the Council’s endorsement of the scheme.

By MrD