Richard Baker, North East Local Enterprise Partnership Head of Strategy and Policy, today gave his reaction to The Budget delivered by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond.


The Chancellor was able to report optimistic and positive longer term forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility, but is clearly cautious about the risks to the economy of shorter term uncertainty.

“We welcome the continuing focus on building productivity and employment,” said Richard.

“The announcements on technical skills and lifelong learning are the right focus to ensure that our labour market can respond to changing technologies and demographics, following on from the Autumn Statement focus on innovation and infrastructure.

“The announcement of £270m from the Autumn Statement’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund into new technologies such as robotics, biotech and driverless vehicles will present specific opportunities for our North East economy.

“These themes are identified in the North East LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan, as is the opportunity for securing additional funds towards enhanced broadband and 5G connectivity.”