UK Government Spending Review 2020 - Highlights and Useful Links

Chancellor Rishi Sunak's announcement on 25th November 2020 was in two parts.

  • The more immediate Covid-related impact on the economy and additional resources required
  • Further detail on spending around key priorities such as skills, greening the economy and infrastructure

There is much detail and not everything gets mentioned in the speech. Please find the key points of the Spending Review 2020 (SR20) summarised below.


Information and Downloads
Key Documents

Chancellor’s Speech to Parliament 25th November 2020

National Infrastructure Strategy
The creation of a National Infrastructure Bank and new project on technologies for removing greenhouse gases

Government Response on Reform to the Retail Price Index

Green Book Review
This covers assessment methodology for major infrastructure and investment projects

Government Response to Consultation on the Public Works Loans Board
Essential Points from SR20 Broken Down
SR20 also confirms £519 million of funding in 2021-22 to support the continued delivery of Covid-19 loans, including paying for the 12-month interest free period on the BBLS and the CBILS.

The government is freezing the business rates multiplier in 2021-22, saving businesses in England £575 million over the next five years. The government is also considering options for further Covid-19 related support through business rates reliefs. In order to ensure that any decisions best meet the evolving challenges presented by Covid-19, the government will outline plans for 2021-22 reliefs in the New Year.

SR20 provides an additional £56.5 million in 2021-22 to support the vitality and entrepreneurship of the UK by expanding the British Business Bank’s Start-Up Loans to meet the increase in demand and support entrepreneurs to start and grow their business.

SR20 continues to prioritise supporting jobs, including by investing an additional £3.7 billion to support frontline services and build on the commitments made in the Plan for Jobs, including funding for the Kickstart Scheme for young people, the doubling of work coaches in Job Centre Plus, and investing in a new, three-year programme to help over one million people.

SR20 provides an additional £100 million in 2021-22?on top of the £400 million Brownfield Fund announced at Budget 2020.

The government is launching a new Levelling Up Fund worth £4 billion for England, that will attract up to £0.8 billion funding for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the usual way. This will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities and will support economic recovery.

£950 million to support the rollout of rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging hubs at every service station on England’s motorways and major A-roads. Also, £275 million to extend support for charge point installation at homes, workplaces and on-street locations, while reforming these schemes so that they target difficult parts of the market such as leaseholders and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

SR20 also provides £81 million of R&D funding in 2021-22 to launch a programme of investment in low and zero emission transport technologies. This includes new initiatives on sustainable aviation fuels, clean maritime demonstrations, zero emission freight trials, innovative electric vehicle charging solutions, and funding for a Hydrogen Transport Hub in the Tees Valley.

SR20 aims to deliver opportunities for lifelong learning, helping those who want or need to reskill to do so at any stage of their life or career. It also confirms changes to support employers offering apprenticeships by delivering further improvements to the system.

  • From August 2021, employers who pay the Apprenticeship Levy will be able to transfer unspent levy funds in bulk to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a new pledge function. Unspent levy funds will still expire after 24 months. The government will also introduce, from August 2021, a new online service to match levy payers with SMEs that share their business priorities
  • From April 2021 allowing employers in construction, followed by health and social care, to front-load training for certain apprenticeship standards. The government will explore whether this offer can also be made available in other sectors
  • During 2021-22, the government will test approaches to supporting apprenticeships in industries with more flexible working patterns, including consideration of how best to support apprenticeship training agencies
  • Incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice introduced in the Plan for Jobs will be extended to 31 March 2021

Through 'Project Speed' the government will improve the delivery of vital infrastructure and its capital programme by:

  • reforming infrastructure planning and improving environmental regulations
  • overhauling procurement rules and modernising the construction sector with better use of data and new technology
  • ensuring more effective decision making
  • initiating a step change in capability and leadership

At a project level, Project Speed has found savings of up to 50 per cent in the construction process of the A66, cutting this down from 10 to 5 years through innovative solutions such as standardised, modular and offsite design and construction, alongside more intensive and concurrent delivery.

The reforms identified by Project Speed will be rolled out across the government’s portfolio, dramatically cutting delivery times and providing benefits to users earlier.

SR20 has £1.7 billion in 2021-22 for local roads maintenance and upgrades to tackle potholes, relieve congestion and boost connectivity.

SR20 gives increased support for net zero innovation, including £200 million in 2021-22 for the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, to develop new decarbonisation solutions and accelerate near-to-market low-carbon energy innovations.

SR20 confirms the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully-subsidised jobs for young people across the country. To date, tens of thousands of Kickstart jobs have been created. This settlement confirms funding for over 250,000 Kickstart jobs.