Following the government’s Autumn Statement Coun Colin Davie for Economic Development gives his view:

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Executive Member for Economic Development at Lincolnshire County Council, Colin Davie, has been encouraged by today’s announcements (Wednesday, December 4) regarding the local economy.

He said: “Today’s statement has a lot of good news for small businesses, which are the backbone of our local economy.

“The reduction in business rates, along with a review of the system is a positive step for local firms, and will help High Streets around the county.”

“Another important move is the easier access to loans for small businesses. Some local firms have been held back through a lack of finance, and today’s announcement will help remedy that.

“The news of new trade advisors will also receive a warm welcome locally. Over the last few years we’ve been helping county businesses find opportunities to export their products, and the measures announced today should help boost our numbers”

He added: “In addition, I’m delighted to see the abolition of National Insurance on apprenticeships. We’ve been helping smaller employers understand the benefits of apprentices, and this move could encourage more to take them on.

“There were also positive announcements about the Northern Powerhouse. We’ve been making our case to the Chancellor that Lincolnshire should be seen as a part of this and he has written to us to assure us that we are in the picture.”

“And some of today’s announcements will have benefits not just for businesses, but residents too,” he continued.

“In a rural county like Lincolnshire, news of the freeze in fuel duty will mean more money in everyone’s pockets.

“And the opening up of a new 4G spectrum will mean better mobile phone connectivity, something that is becoming more and more vital for residents and businesses alike as well as the abolition of stamp duty on properties under £125,000, the increased investment in affordable housing which will also be of benefit, particularly to younger people trying to get their foot on the property ladder.”

“Finally, I’m pleased to see the additional £1bn funding for LEPs. We would have liked to see more in the pot, but we’ll be lobbying hard for funding for our projects, adding to the £68m we won in the last round. “All in all, this is a very positive Autumn Statement for businesses and for our county.”