The Spending Review is just days away, but Chancellor Rishi Sunak has already given a taste of what we can expect from the 27 October announcement.
The big highlight for the North West is the £5.7bn package for levelling up transport links outside of London, which was announced on Friday. That money includes £1.07bn to Greater Manchester and £710m for Liverpool City Region.
In Greater Manchester, the money is slated for next-generation trams and new bus corridors at Bury and Ashton-under-Lyne.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham called the funding promise an “important first step” in having a London-style public transport system for the region.
“As welcome as it is, infrastructure investment alone will not make levelling up feel real to the people of Greater Manchester,” he continued. “That will only happen when the frequency and coverage of bus services are increased and fares are lowered to London levels.
“So we are now hopeful that the Government will soon build on this foundation and match this allocation with revenue funding to make our Bee Network vision a reality.”
In Liverpool City Region, the £710m is reserved for new and renovated stations in Liverpool and Runcorn and an interchange project in St Helens.
Other key numbers we expect to hear in Wednesday’s budget announcement:
- £9m towards creating 100 urban “pocket parks”
- £3bn in post-16 education to fund a “skills revolution”. That number includes £1.6bn to roll out new T-levels.
- £1.8bn for brownfield housing developments
- £850m for museum and library improvements across the country
- £65m towards developing software to digitise the planning system.