How the Budget affects northern business

Here, we look at how companies in the North are affected by George Osborne's pre-election announcement.

Recently, George Osborne announced his pre-election budget, which sparked a great deal of conversation within the business and financial community. The businesses of the North West have been covered in many of the topics that were mentioned in Osborne’s announcement. Topics ranged from the announcement that Greater Manchester would have 100 per cent control of its business rates to the ‘Penny off a Pint’ Policy, all of which would affect northern businesses. Here, we take a look at what the announcements will mean for business leaders in the North and the budget’s effect on the current business climate.

Investment in the North

George Osborne’s budget referenced the ‘sun shining brighter in the North, with a faster rate of growth attributed to the North than the South in 2014’. The budget also presents a renewed commitment to the Northern Powerhouse plan – an aim the government has to bring still more prosperity to the North.

The announcement regarding Greater Manchester and its ability to retain 100 per cent of the increase of business rates is positive. In addition to this, the investment within the infrastructure, culture, arts, and transport sectors can only help with the continuation of growth. Additionally, this provides both private and public organisations within Greater Manchester with a brilliant opportunity to develop a blueprint for a successful model of regional devolution.

The budget is the beginning of quite exciting times for the city, although some nearby neighbours will certainly feel they should have gained something from this, and may wonder how they can capitalise. Investing in the North’s initiative and chemical industry projects is certain to shine a light on the area as an arena for innovation while accelerating employment and providing new opportunities. This new budget is widely predicted as a medium of allowing for competition at a global level.


2014 saw a great deal of discussion on regards to HS3 and it is the hope of many that the budget announcement will allow for decision-makers the ability to speed up the Northern Powerhouse’s transition from vision to reality. The major cities of the UK will not be able to be truly connected until meaningful activity can be achieved. This activity must expressly encourage investment and growth in the North and it looks like this is finally on its way to fruition. Faster and greater connectivity between the East and West is to be brought forward, according to plans outlined in the new 2015 Budget. HS3 has also received additional attention from the government with regards to an acute issue of overloaded transport networks.

What is currently an implementation plan is likely to see an increase in development quickly. This will ensure the workforce and businesses the ability to feel the benefit of the investment sooner rather than later. Just as with all transport projects that tend to be quite complex, the devil is in the detail, but hopefully, the details can be quickly resolved.

What is crucial to the announcement regarding HS3 is the plan for extended phases that will see the inclusion of both Hull and Liverpool within the network. The potential for accelerated growth that is offered by the Humber and Liverpool Ports would encourage sponsors of the project to examine how more can be done in the area. This will also guarantee that an increased amount of the Northern Powerhouse objectives can be met through this investment.

If you’re based in the North, and are wondering how the budget affects your business, why not speak to KBS Corporate. They have the knowledge and ability to see what changes need to be made in northern businesses to capitalise on these new announcements, and can help to further plan for new developments to come. 

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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