So first things first, what is the Autumn Statement? Basically it’s a comprehensive spending review that the government share with the public. The Chancellor generally shares his thoughts on overspending, outlines his plans to reduce the deficit and gives us an insight into where he will concentrate his efforts on utilising taxpayer’s money to make vital changes across the UK.
For those who may have missed the statement the first time round, we’ve condensed some of the most important points, and here we’ll look at how some of those changes affect Manchester and beyond.
- The Factory
Although this was first initially introduced in 2014’S Autumn Statement, the government have confirmed that they are well on track with constructing The Factory, an all-new exhibition and theatre space to be built in the heart of Manchester. Due to open in 2019, the government are piling a whopping £78 million into the new space, and the building is said to be “unlike anywhere else in the world”. In addition to this, the government will invest £2.5 million in the Museum of Science and Industry and £5 million for a new South Asia Gallery at Manchester Museum. Exciting times ahead!
- Northern Powerhouse
The two words that have been on everyone’s lips throughout 2015 - the Northern Powerhouse has certainly set tongues wagging since the vision was unveiled. In this recent announcement, a further investment of £400 million has now been earmarked to be pumped into the northern cities; a move which will raise demand even further. We already know about plans for the city’s new tech hub, and all the upgrades in public transport AND new jobs and apprenticeships, but we can’t help but wonder what else might be in store…watch this space, Manchester!
With plans already well underway for HS2, a new superfast train which will see your commute from Manchester to London cut down to just 1 hour and 8 minutes. It’s another overhaul for northern transport. A total of £350 million will be used on the Metrolink extension to Trafford Park in Greater Manchester (cue the never ending trips to the Trafford Centre for the Ascend team). Plus a new “oyster” style ticketing system will be in place across the north by 2018 - this will easily help people switch from one form of transport to another. Not bad, eh?
- New homes
One new announcement that excited a lot of people was the promise of up to 400,000 new homes by 2019. The housing market has been a little short of supply lately so this comes as great news for anyone looking to buy, rent or even invest in a new home. Plus, there’s even more help for first time buyers with the new Help to Buy ISAs launched this month, which gives savers an extra £50 for every £200 they save towards a new house. We won’t say no to that.
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