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Chancellor puts projects at the forefront of Budget growth priorities

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Association for Project Management (APM) has welcomed announcements around energy, infrastructure and innovation in the UK Government’s latest budget, which will put projects in these areas at the forefront of driving economic growth.

Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced his plans for the UK economy on Thursday, 17 November, amid speculation that there would be large-scale cuts to sectors where major projects take place.

Delivering his budget against a background of high inflation and economic uncertainty, Mr Hunt said: “Our priorities are stability, growth and public services…anyone who says there are easy answers is not being straight with the British people.”

However, the Chancellor made a commitment to invest in project-focused areas, referring to these as ‘growth priorities’ These included:

Energy independence and energy efficiency

  • The Government will proceed with plans for a new nuclear power station at Sizewell C.
  • Setting a new ‘national ambition’ to reduce energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030.

Mr Hunt said: “Britain is a global leader in renewable energy. But we need to go even further with any acceleration of solar, offshore wind and, above all, nuclear.

“[Sizewell C] will create 10,000 highly skilled jobs and provide low carbon power to the equivalent of 6,000 homes for 50 years.”


  • The Government committed to delivering the core Norther Powerhouse rail, HS2 to Manchester, East-West rail, a new hospitals programme and gigabit broadband rollout.
  • These projects will be funded with over £600bn of investment over the next five years.
  • Round 2 of the Levelling Up fund will proceed and at least match the £1.7bn round 1 funding.

The Chancellor said: “Connections matter because they allow wealth and opportunity to spread to every corner on the country. That’s why infrastructure is our second growth priority.

“When looking for cuts, capital spending is sometimes seen as an easy option, but doing so limits not our budgets, but our future.

“Our national Conservative mission is to level up economic opportunity across the country. That too needs investment in infrastructure.”


  • Supply-side changes to EU regulations affecting life digital, life sciences, green industries financial services and advanced manufacturing, to be decided announced by the end of the year.
  • Removal of import tariffs on over 100 goods used by UK business in production processes.
  • Changes to investment zones, which will be centred on universities in “left behind” areas to help build clusters for growth industries.

Commenting on these announcements, the Chancellor described innovation as the Government’s third growth priority, saying: “21st century economies will be defined by developments in artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and robotics.

“I want to combine our technology and science brilliance with our formidable financial services to turn Britain into the world’s next Silicone Valley.”

APM’s Chief Executive, Professor Adam Boddison, said: “The key words the Chancellor used when presenting this budget were ‘balance’, ‘stability’ and ‘growth’ and it is clear to see that the power of projects to deliver economic and social benefit has been recognised. The emphasis of the Budget is very much on achieving growth through projects in energy, infrastructure and innovation. We welcome this recognition and the investment that accompanies it. However, it must be remembered that policy announcements don’t deliver projects; people do. Investing in people, as well as material resources, will create the skills necessary to deliver projects now and in the future.

“We acknowledge that the UK remains in the midst of challenging economic times and that people across the country are facing hardship and difficulties. We believe that projects will be the key to unlocking economic growth and delivering benefits for society. The success of this budget must therefore be judged not against tomorrow’s headlines but on its impacts on projects and programmes delivering real benefits to people, at both local and national level.”


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