Chancellor’s budget deals “huge blow” to South Yorkshire, as the region misses out on funding

Written by Eloise Maddocks

Disappointment was felt across South Yorkshire last week as the region missed out on key funding packages in the Chancellor’s budget announcement.

Leeds was chosen as the home for a new infrastructure bank, while Darlington was selected as the new base for the treasury – but there was little in the announcement for South Yorkshire.

A particular source of frustration was the news that Doncaster Sheffield Airport had lost its bid to become a Freeport.

Doncaster councillor Bill Mordue said the government was failing to level up the North and that Freeport status would have driven investment and regenerated South Yorkshire’s economy.

He said: “From a South Yorkshire perspective, there was little evidence of the levelling up agenda.

“The missing out on the Freeport is a huge blow for everyone who put a huge amount of work into the bid and it would have created a large number of jobs for Doncaster residents and for neighbouring areas.”

The Chancellor’s towns fund also received criticism. The package was designed to regenerate areas of deprivation, but 40 of the 45 towns selected for funding were represented by Conservative MPs.

Rishi Sunak’s own constituency in Richmond received part of the funding, while areas in Barnsley were overlooked.

Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central and Mayor of Sheffield City Region said: “It beggars belief that Rishi Sunak’s Richmond constituency is considered to be in greater need of levelling up investment than Barnsley and Sheffield.

Dan Jarvis is MP for Barnsley Central and Mayor of the Sheffield City Region.

“It’s yet again proof that this government’s actions are levelling down our communities.

“I’m calling on the Treasury to publish their allocation formula as a matter of urgency.”

Not far from South Yorkshire, in the Conservative seat of Mansfield, MP Ben Bradley was awarded £12 million from the town’s fund.

He said: “We’ve been talking for a long time about getting some capital investment to regenerate things. £12 million doesn’t fix everything, but it’s a good start on that road to be able to put some projects in place.”

 

Written by Eloise Maddocks

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