Colors: Purple Color

The Government has today revealed it wants to work with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to create Investment Zones in the West Midlands, which will help drive economic growth, new homes, and jobs.

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng also revealed that the Government plans to fast-track a number of vital transport schemes in the region to ensure work gets underway before the end of 2023.

A combination of measures announced in the budget today will create new opportunities for innovative start-ups and will help unlock private investment.

However, these measures must be underpinned by a collaborative and sustainable university sector to succeed says the National Centre for Universities and Business, the collective voice of UK business and universities. Today’s announcements set an economic growth goal of 2.5% and seek to drive up private investment through targeted tax and regulatory measures.  

Below is the stakeholder reaction on specific measures within the Growth Plan, including: alcohol duty, off-payroll working rules (IR35), VAT-free shopping and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme

Nuno Teles, Managing Director, Diageo Great Britain said: “Today we raise a Guinness to the Chancellor and PM, as a freeze in alcohol duty is great news for pubs, restaurants, and tourism.

Azets Birmingham’s tax partner, Ray Abercromby, completed a 1,000-mile venture, from Land’s End to John O’Groats in aid of The Pebbles Project Trust, a charity based in South Africa that supports children impacted by poverty in The Winelands.

Being a wine lover, Ray chose to raise money for The Pebbles Project, a charity that was originally set up to help children who were born with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), a preventable birth defect caused by a woman consuming alcohol during her pregnancy, one of the consequences of the wine farms historically part-paying their workers in wine.

Linda Wyatt has been the CEO of AIM since it was formed in 2012. She stepped down from the position in September this year when the organisation merged with Open College Network West Midlands.

Linda was nominated by AIM colleagues in recognition of her (almost) 40 years of service to the FE / Training/Awarding sector and her leadership of AIM. Initially Linda worked for Open College Network then, after a series of organisational changes, set up the independent Awarding Organisation (AO) AIM Awards in 2012.

Martin McTague, National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses commented: “This is clear and decisive action to support growth. The decision to reverse all four of these tax rises will support livelihoods, jobs and small businesses across the UK. Removing taxes on jobs, investment and growth is the right thing to do, and FSB has campaigned long and hard for this decision.

Energy bills for UK businesses will be cut by around half their predicted level this winter under a huge government support package. The scheme will fix wholesale gas and electricity prices for firms for six months from October 1, shielding businesses from crippling costs.

Hospitals, schools and charities will also get help, the government said. It comes after ministers announced a £150bn plan to help households with their soaring bills for two years.

Forty businesses and individuals have been shortlisted for the Solihull Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards, which will be handed out during a glittering ceremony next month. The winners of 10 sector awards will be revealed on the night, with one business going on to be crowned the overall Solihull Business of the Year.