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Boris Johnson’s economic recovery speech: Key points

UK News | Published:

The Prime Minister has set out plans for a £5 billion spending spree.

Boris Johnson visits Dudley

Here are the main elements of Boris Johnson’s plan to revive the economy after the coronavirus crisis:

Infrastructure

The Budget in March had already set out plans for £640 billion of spending over five years.

Mr Johnson set out plans to speed up £5 billion of that including:

– £1.5 billion this year for hospital maintenance.

– £100 million on 29 road projects including bridge repairs in Sandwell and work on the A15 in the Humber region.

– £10 million for work to unblock the Manchester rail bottleneck, which will begin this year.

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– More than £1 billion to fund the first 50 projects of a new, 10-year school rebuilding programme.

– £560 million for repairs to schools and £200 million for FE colleges.

– £142 million for digital upgrades and maintenance to around 100 courts this year.

– £83 million for maintenance of prisons and youth offender facilities and £60 million for temporary prison places.

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– £900 million for a range of local growth projects in England this year and next.

– £96 million of investment in town centres and high streets.

There will be a review of road, rail, air and sea links between the four nations of the UK – although Number 10 could not say whether that included Mr Johnson’s pet project of a bridge connecting Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Boris Johnson visit to Dudley
Prime Minister Boris laid out plans to invest in infrastructure projects to help stimulate the nation’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic (Paul Ellis/PA)

Environment

There will be £10 million for the research and development projects to scale-up manufacturing of the latest technology in batteries, motors, electronics and fuel cells as well as support for “gigafactories” to mass produce components.

Mr Johnson set out a “jet zero” goal for the UK to produce the world’s first zero-emission long-haul passenger plane, although he gave no details.

Some 75,000 acres of trees will be planted every year by 2025.

A £40 million green recovery challenge fund will help halt biodiversity loss and tackle climate change through local conservation projects, creating up to 5,000 jobs.

A £100 million fund will research direct air capture technology, to capture CO2 emissions – potentially helping industries including aviation.

Housing and planning

From September, new regulations will make it easier for buildings in town centres to change use without planning permission and create new homes from the regeneration of vacant and redundant shops and other buildings.

Changes will also make it easier for shops to be converted to cafes or officers without needing planning applications and council approval.

A fast-track approval process will allow property owners to extend upwards, subject to consultation with neighbours.

The £12 billion affordable homes programme will support up to 180,000 new dwellings for ownership and rent over the next eight years – although when an extra £9.5 billion for the programme was announced in the Budget, the timeframe given was five years.

Downing Street explained the money would be allocated – and the majority of homes built – in the five-year period, with the rest completed by 2028/29.

A 1,500 unit pilot of the First Homes scheme, which will see properties sold to a first-time buyer at a 30% discount which will remain in perpetuity.

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