Budget latest: Chancellor also announces £140m boost to flood repairs spending and £200m for potholes

Mersey Gateway bridge

George Osborne has confirmed a £270m guarantee for the Mersey Gateway Bridge project and announced a boost for local infrastructure projects around the country, with an additional £140m for flood repairs and maintenance and £200m for potholes.

In a Budget statement that was light on major infrastructure announcements, the chancellor confirmed the government would use its balance sheet to back the Mersey Gateway Bridge project, with a £270m guarantee through the UK Guarantees scheme.

The Treasury said the £200m “potholes challenge fund” would allow local authorities to bid for funding to repair up to 3.2 million potholes following the recent severe weather.

He said the £140m in funding to repair and restore the condition of flood defences that have suffered damage in the recent flooding. The Treasury said the funding would be made available immediately, and was additional to previously announced spending boosts.

Other measures included:

  • new legislation to give new tax and borrowing powers to the Welsh Government to fund infrastructure, with work now ready to start on improvements to the M4 in South Wales
  • Confirmation of a “Gain Share deal” with 
Greater Cambridge, providing £100m over the 5 years to 2019-20 to fund local infrastructure.  The Treasury said the agreement could be worth up to £500m over 15-20 years, dependent on the economic impact of their investments.
  • £20m for a grant scheme for repairs to cathedrals in recognition of their heritage significance and role in forthcoming remembrance activities to commemorate the First World War