During his spring statement, chancellor Philip Hammond invited proposals for the £840 million Transforming Cities Fund announced last year.

The fund, which was first introduced by prime minister Theresa May in November 2017 and clarified in the autumn budget, is aimed at investing in intra-city transport with a specific focus on projects that drive productivity by improving connectivity and reducing congestion.

Half of the fund has been allocated to six authorities with elected mayors, including Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, West of England, West Midlands and Tees Valley. The other half will be allocated via competition for transport projects, with cities able to lodge applications to win funding.

The news has been welcomed by the GTMC, with CEO Adrian Parkes saying: “The announcement that cities will now be invited to bid for financing from the new Transforming Cities Fund announced last November is positive. In order to build opportunities for growth beyond London and the South East, businesses in regions across the UK need the infrastructure and routes to travel.

“However, it is important for business owners, business travellers and the government to remember that opportunities for growth lie not only in the domestic market but also overseas. Any future investment plans, bids and decisions made around investment in business growth and regional transport networks must pay careful consideration to improving transport links not only on our road and rail networks but also on surface connections to regional airports to enable travel and growth both within the UK and on an international scale.”

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