Caroline Baker , Head of Cushman & Wakefield’s Manchester office comments on the 2018 Budget:
“The Chancellor’s Budget yesterday ticked a lot of the boxes that we in the North West are concerned about – housing, our town centers, roads and railways and investment in our cities. I welcome the support to a variety of delivery partners in the housing sector (including support to housebuilders, SME builders, housing associations and local authorities – in response to recent recognition that we will not tackle the problem by just telling house builders to build faster!) I also welcome the acknowledgment and support that we need to do more to support our high streets and enable them to respond to the fundamental shifts in retail habits and the need to stimulate a wider range of occupiers to invest in our town centres – including a combination of planning interventions and using some of the profits from growth from the digital sector – to make them great places to visit not just shop.
I’m also pleased to see that the Northern Powerhouse, was given some airtime! With the Chancellor announcing that the Government is ready to “fire up” the progress in the regions supported by further funding for The Transforming Cities Fund and the £110m for the Northern Powerhouse Rail Programme.
But, it feels as though the announcements will in reality just scratch the surface of the issues and more is needed in all sectors to really stimulate change against a backdrop of uncertainty over Brexit – deal or no deal.
As always the devil is in the detail. In terms of housing, more will hopefully be revealed on Wednesday when Homes England publish its five year strategic business plan and we look forward to continuing to work with them, developers and housing associations to support the delivery of much needed new homes across the North West.”