The Chancellor announced over £1 billion funding for a further 45 towns in England through the Towns Fund, including £37.5 m for Stevenage, the publication of the government’s Build Back Better: Plan for Growth and £4.8 billion UK-wide Levelling Up Fund which provides guidance for local areas on how to submit bids.
The Budget also unveiled plans for a taskforce designed to stimulate housebuilding using modern methods of construction (MMC), backed by £10m of government funding. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will establish the Taskforce, backed by £10 million of seed funding, to accelerate the delivery of MMC homes in the UK. The taskforce will work closely with local authorities and Mayoral Combined Authorities to bring forward ambitious proposals, such as those being developed by Hertfordshire Growth Board andthe enterprise zone, Hertfordshire Innovation Quarter. With over 100,000 homes to build by 2036, Hertfordshire has a strategic commitment to speed up the delivery of new homes.
Find out more about how we are using offsite to accelerate the delivery of homes in Hertfordshire.
A new two year super deduction tax benefit to give 130% rebate on investment could also provide significant stimulus for contractors investing in areas like Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and digitalisation to meet expectations set out in the new Construction Sector Playbook.
Stevenage is one of the biggest winners in Hertfordshire in this year’s Budget. It is to receive £37.5m, one of the highest allocations, following a successful application to the Government’s Towns Fund led by Stevenage Development Board, and supported by key stakeholders including Stevenage Borough Council, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Growth Board.
Find out more about the Stevenage Town Investment Plan.
Levelling Up Fund: Announced at the Spending Review, the £4.8 billion fund will support town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects, and cultural and heritage assets.
The prospectus provides guidance for local areas on how to submit bids for the Fund and sets out the approach for the first round of the Fund, which will prioritise bids that can demonstrate investment or begin delivery on the ground in the coming financial year. Capacity funding will be allocated to local authorities most in need of levelling up in England. The index is based on a combination of metrics including need for economic recovery and growth, need for improved transport connectivity and need for regeneration. A separate appendix lists local authorities by priority category from 1 to 3. Stevenage, Dacorum, St Albans, East Herts, Three Rivers and Welwyn Hatfield are in priority category 3, with Watford, Hertsmere, North Herts and Broxbourne in priority 2.
Read the HGB Budget 2021 summary here.