The Government has now made a step towards fulfilling their promises on levelling up in the UK, publishing the Levelling Up White Paper
The name suggests that it goes a long way to evening out investment across the country and take the focus away from what many feel are ‘London-centric’ policies and power.
The paper is split into a series of ‘missions’ that the Government plans to deliver on by 2030. The first mission, intended to be a significant driver for business, aims to see pay, employment, and productivity growth across the UK, narrowing spatial economic disparities, with investment in research and development outside of the ‘Greater South East’ increasing by 40%.
The White Paper also announced Innovation Accelerators. These large-scale hubs of innovation, modelled on MIT-Greater Boston and Stanford-Silicon Valley, will be centred on Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, and Glasgow-City Region. Local businesses and researchers in these areas will support £100 million of new government funding to ‘turbo-charge’ regional growth.
Other business-focused targets include bringing regional public transport systems much closer to London standards to improve access to major UK towns and cities and help improve user experience, encouraging people to want to live and work in these areas. A further commercially motivated mission is for the vast majority of the country to gain access to 5G broadband, allowing companies to operate anywhere in the UK without being at a technological disadvantage.
Additionally, with the paper offering devolved power to local governments, regional politicians will also have far more say in how money is spent on education, professional training and housing, allowing them to be able to provide people with opportunities to gain skills and find employment wherever they live in the UK.
So, as we wait to see if the Government can deliver on their promise, we will continue bringing you further updates on progress…