This year has required a huge deal of the British people, which is exactly why it is so important that today’s Spending Review delivers on the priorities of the British people as we start our economic recovery.
This Government's priorities immediate priority is to protect people’s lives and livelihoods as we respond to coronavirus. But we will also deliver stronger public services – more hospitals, better schools and safer streets - as we pledged in our manifesto for the 2019 Election. We aim to do this whilst we deliver a once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure – creating jobs, growing the economy, and increasing pride in the places people call home from Bournemouth West to Barrow-in-Furness.
For the South West, the Government has laid out its specific plan for how it will help us get back to normal:
- Ensuring every child has the best start in life by boosting per pupil funding. Schools in the South West will receive almost £3.5billion in per-pupil funding through the schools block-an average per-pupil increase of 3.6per cent compared to 20-21.
- Improving health services in the South West. We are building 11 hospitals and continuing to grow of medical undergraduate degree places, with an additional 196 places in the South West compared to 2017-18.
- Providing over £600 million in funding across 23 projects as part of the Housing Infrastructure Fund, including £250 million for key highways improvements.
- Investing in flood defences. We’re protecting over 7,000 properties in region in the early stagesof our £5.2 billion six-year flood defences programme; this includes in Bridgwater, Poole and Gloucester.
- Tackling crime by recruiting more police officers.The South West will benefit from a share of 6,000 new police officers in 2021-22.
- Improving transport infrastructure and connectivity as part of our levelling up agenda, improving local transportation infrastructure. We will benefit from over £82 million investment in 21-22 local transport networks in West of England, Plymouth and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (with £240 million total provided to these areas over the length of the programme)
- Supporting innovators and researchers across the UK, including those in the South West. Our £14.6 billion investment in Research and Development in 2021-22 will support innovators and help to pursue ground-breaking ideas and developing new technologies.
This is all on top of the world leading support we've already provided for the South West which includes:
- Supported 808,900 jobs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme across the South West, including over 5,000 in Bournemouth West alone.
- Over 107,000 businesses have been supported through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme and the Bounce Back Loans Scheme in the South West worth over £4 billion. Businesses in Bournemouth West have benefitted with over £29m of funding on the CBILS scheme alone.
- Providing £96.2million through the Getting Building Fund for infrastructure across the region.This supports the region’s short-term recovery from COVID-19. The South West has received over £96 million from the Getting Building Fund to deliver jobs, skills and infrastructure across the region.