Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, was pleased that the Budget included measures to invest in the North West but expressed disappointment that the Cumbria Freeport bid was unsuccessful.
The North West will see the benefit of nationwide measures through:
- 1 million jobs being supported through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- 159,000 businesses in the North West being supported by £6.4bn in government loans
- 635,000 households in the North West will benefit from the continued Universal Credit uplift with a £500 one off payment to Working Tax Credits Claimants set to benefit 185,000 households
- The ability of local authorities to apply for funding through the £4.8bn levelling up fund to invest in local infrastructure
Some of the specific local support announced is as follows:
- Carlisle and Cumbria will receive investment from the Borderlands Growth Deal to unlock potential for economic growth in the South of Scotland and North of England
- The North West will benefit from strategic road upgrades such as dualling the A66 from Scotch Corner to Penrith.
- The Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme extension and will help support Carlisle Airport’s fixed costs, such as business rates. The freeze in air passenger duty for short-haul flights will benefit flights departing from the North West, while the longhaul economy rate will only increase by £2.
- The 78 per cent of households in the North West who rely on a car will benefit from a fuel duty freeze.
Commenting, Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border said:
“Alongside the measures around furlough and Universal Credit to support individuals in and out of employment Cumbria needs continued and sustained investment if it is to successfully bounce back from the pandemic. That is why I welcome that Cumbria will be buttressed by the Borderlands Growth Deal. It is vital that our communities and towns are given the support they need to provide the green shoots of economic recovery in the region.
Unfortunately, not all the news was positive; Cumbria was unsuccessful in its bid to become one of the government’s eight new freeports, a decision which I am disappointed by. I know that the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, alongside local councils, worked extremely hard when submitting a comprehensive and attractive bid. We must now look for other opportunities for investment in the region, such as an application to the £4.8bn Levelling Up Fund.
I will continue to fight for the interests of Penrith and The Border in Westminster and I hope this budget demonstrates that there is a comprehensive economic plan to offer businesses and individuals a ladder out of this crisis.”