Statement from Lou Cordwell, Chair of Greater Manchester Business Board (LEP) in response today’s Budget.

Lou Cordwell, Chair of Greater Manchester Business Board (LEP), said: “The announcements in today’s Budget represent another hugely significant step forward for Greater Manchester. The new devolution deal brings with it greater local control of skills and transport infrastructure, areas that businesses and investors often describe as their biggest priorities.

“The deal breaks new ground for technical education in Greater Manchester, allowing us to build a fully integrated skills system that responds to the needs of employers and provides clear career pathways for our people. It also brings us closer to the London-style transport system that will better connect people with opportunities.

“An Investment Zone for Greater Manchester is another promising opportunity. We look forward to working with Government to develop a plan, ensuring the £80m of new investment is deployed effectively.

“We will continue to work closely with Innovate UK on delivering the Innovation Accelerator programme. Our Innovation Greater Manchester partnership is committed to developing an innovation ecosystem that creates high-quality jobs, productive companies and inclusive growth.

“Devolving further powers, funding and accountability to the city-region level can help us create an environment where businesses can prosper.”