Budget 2021: The Great Opportunity

Mar 2, 2021

The Chancellor’s Budget this week will inevitably focus upon tackling the economic and social impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the UK. Mark Jackson, Development Director at Scarborough Group International, highlights the key areas where he would like to see action from the Government.

A Challenging Year

As a real estate development and investment company covering all sectors from residential to retail, offices and industrial, we have witnessed first-hand the impact that COVID-19 has had on businesses. Many of our retail and leisure occupiers continue to struggle with the severe impacts that the various lockdown measures have imposed upon them, while our once-vibrant offices have lain practically dormant for the best part of 12 months.

Throughout the Pandemic, Scarborough Group’s mantra has been ‘Keep Building’, bringing forward the next phases of our major schemes as a commitment to our communities and indeed to our nation. We urge the Chancellor to have the same faith in the prospects of the UK as we all look ahead to face a very different world of challenge and opportunity.

Innovation and Growth

The Government’s roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions brings the expectation of a return to normal economic activity in the months ahead. We believe that the Budget must set out a bold plan for growth in the UK economy with a major commitment to innovation and industry – including the UK taking a world-leading role in cleaner energy – while maintaining support for those recovering from the effects of the Pandemic.

With Brexit no longer in question, the whole nation must embrace the opportunities that it brings for industry while dealing robustly with any challenges it presents. Britain must encourage and support the entrepreneurial spirit across the business spectrum, from the smallest start-ups to the largest institutions.

Levelling-up the Regions

With our extensive presence across the Northern Powerhouse we appreciate the huge potential that lies in this great region, and have every faith in the Levelling-up agenda.

The Government’s plans to establish thousands of civil service roles in the regions are to be welcomed, but firm details are desperately needed so that local authorities and businesses can plan ahead to capitalise on the opportunities that the initiative will bring.

Critical too is a wholehearted commitment to greater transport connectivity across the North and the acceleration of its delivery.

Pivoting to the Realities of the New Economy

There is a need to look again at business taxation to reflect the new realities of online commerce, and how the centres of our towns and cities change and adapt in response. Local communities and local authorities should be tasked with taking a leading role in the renaissance of their towns, but the Government must help by evolving the tax system to support local commerce in the right way.

The private sector stands ready to commit to the future of the UK and to work in partnership with the public sector like never before, especially in the regions. We believe an approach with the broad measures outlined above at their heart will revive the economy from the impacts of the Pandemic and set a clear pathway for future prosperity. 

For more information regarding our current projects, please visit the Our Developments page.

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