After a turbulent time for tourism throughout the pandemic, the sector eagerly awaited Rishi Sunak’s budget updates, in which the Chancellor announced plans for a “stronger economy of the future” and a focus on the "post-Covid" era, but what does it mean for Yorkshire and its tourism businesses?
Levelling Up Fund:
£187m for 10 projects from the first tranche of allocations:
£18.6m to build a major waterfront extension in Doncaster
£12.2m for the refurbishment of Halifax Swimming Pool
£20m to create new hospitality and visitor centres at Wentworth Woodhouse, Rotherham
£19.5m to finish the Culture and Leisure Quarter in Rotherham town centre
£20m to improve transport connections across West Leeds
£20m to convert a derelict site in Wakefield into a new museum and gallery
£17m to deliver the long-planned Centre for Child Health Technology in Attercliffe
£19.5m to regenerate Whitefriargate and Albion Square in Hull city centre
£20m to develop Squire Lane Leisure, Wellbeing and Enterprise Centre in Bradford
£20m to regenerate Castlegate Quarter in Sheffield
£830 million to West Yorkshire and £570 million to South Yorkshire over five years to transform local transport networks
Over £171million for local road maintenance over the next three years and a share of £24 billion for strategic road upgrades
£16m towards the Northern Forest (plans to plant 50 million trees across the north including Leeds, Sheffield and Hull)
Transforming Cities Fund will provide £31m to improve walking and cycling access at stations in Selby, Skipton and Harrogate
Over £33m for smaller transport improvement priorities through the Integrated Transport Block to Local Authorities not receiving City Region Settlements
- Cutting business rates by 50% for many retail, hospitality and leisure organisations.
- 2022-23 eligible businesses will be able to claim a discount on their bills of 50% up to a maximum of £110,000
- Taxes cut on sparkling wine and draught beer will be a positive for the hospitality industry with the 28% duty for sparkling wines being removed and a new, lower rate of duty on draught beer and cider to support pubs. An overhaul of alcohol duty with 6 rates now, instead of 15. Rates will be based on strength, ending the ‘era of cheap, high-strength drinks’ which can harm public health. The planned increase in duty on spirits including Scotch whisky, wine, cider and beer has been cancelled
- Tax relief for theatres has been doubled until 2023 which will be a boost for the struggling entertainment sector
- Extended tax relief for museums and galleries to March 2024
- From April 2023 flights between UK airports will be subject to a new lower rate of Air Passenger Duty
- Financial support extended for English airports for a further six months
- From April 2023, a raise in prices for ultra-long haul flights of over 5,500 miles will be introduced which could mean more consideration and benefits for the staycation market.
Whilst there are many areas of optimism, there will also be inevitable rising costs for businesses and homes across the country and the county.
Welcome to Yorkshire’s chair Peter Box CBE said “There’s much to digest and consider from the Autumn Budget which will have an impact on tourism, including arts, travel, hospitality and Yorkshire’s many amazing attractions and brilliant businesses. Tourism in Yorkshire pre-pandemic was worth a staggering £9bn to the county’s economy and employed almost 225,000. people.
Government guidance and assistance for organisations and individuals, fits well with Welcome to Yorkshire’s ongoing Tourism Plan (established in 2020), alongside businesses and local authorities, to continue its pledge to Reopen, Recover and Rebuild Yorkshire’s vital visitor and tourism sector as we react, adapt and emerge from the coronavirus crisis. Promoting the county as a place to Visit, Live, Work and Study is also a priority. However, there are still lots of challenges ahead for many.”
It is now as important as it’s ever been for Yorkshire to work together as #YorkshireTogether to move forward and to embrace the opportunities ahead, whilst continuing to support businesses, organisations and individuals.