3 March 2021

Chancellor launches 2021 budget for the UK

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has outlined the Government’s plans to support people and businesses through the coming months, build the future UK economy and ‘fix’ the public finances in the wake of the pandemic. 

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IOM3 CEO Dr Colin Church FIMMM CEnv said, 'Today’s Budget announcements outline several measures that will provide welcome support to professionals and organisations in materials, minerals, and mining to make a bigger contribution to environmentally-sensitive innovation. However, while we appreciate the efforts to help the economic recovery following the pandemic, we were disappointed to see the lack of focus on the climate change emergency as part of the Government agenda, particularly in the lead up to COP26 later this year. The transition to a low carbon, resource efficient society should be at the heart of plans for recovery, creating opportunities for green jobs, supporting the levelling up agenda and delivering green growth at the pace required to meet the net zero target.'

Matters relevant to sectors where IOM3 members work announced in today’s budget include the following:

Infrastructure and Investment:

  • A new UK Infrastructure Bank, headquartered in Leeds, with £12 billion of initial capital, a further £10 billion in guarantees and core objectives to help tackle climate change and support regional and local economic growth. 
  • £15 billion of green gilt issuance in the coming financial year, with the objectives of helping to finance critical projects to tackle climate change and other environmental challenges, funding important infrastructure investment, and creating green jobs across the UK. 
  • Within the remit of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England, the description of the government’s economic policy has been updated to reflect the importance of environmental sustainability and the transition to net zero 
  • Temporary new super-deduction tax incentive for companies investing in qualifying equipment and machinery assets – cutting taxes by up to 25p for every pound invested. 


  • A £375 million UK-wide ‘Future Fund: Breakthrough’, a new direct co-investment product to support the scale up of the most innovative, research & development (R&D) intensive businesses such as those working in quantum computing or clean technology. 
  • A review of R&D tax reliefs with a consultation published alongside the Budget with the objective of ensuring the UK remains a competitive location for cutting edge research. 

Green growth:

  • Publication of the government’s ‘Build Back Better: our plan for growth’. 
  • a £20 million programme to support the development of floating offshore wind technology across the UK 
  • a new £68 million UK-wide competition to implement several first-of-a-kind energy storage prototypes or technology demonstrators 
  • a £4 million UK-wide competition for the first phase of a biomass feedstocks programme, to support the rural economy in making improvements to the production of green energy crops and forestry products. 
  • £4.8 million to support the development of a demonstration hydrogen hub in Holyhead, Anglesey. 

Education and skills:

  • Extension of the apprenticeship hiring incentive in England to September 2021 and an increase of payment to £3,000. 
  • £7 million for a new “flexi-job” apprenticeship programme in England, to enable apprentices to work with a number of employers in one sector. 
  • Additional £126 million for 40,000 more traineeships in England, funding high quality work placements and training for 16–24-year-olds in 2021/22 academic year.

The build back better document can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/build-back-better-our-plan-for-growth

For more information on the Budget, visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/budget-2021-documents