Leading voices set agenda ahead of Levelling Up White Paper

Major voices from across policy, politics and academia agree that a hyper-local approach focused on the needs of the most challenged communities is needed to achieve levelling up aims, according to a new report.

The report, published by the Centre for Inequality and Levelling Up (CEILUP) at the University of West London, brings together 16 leading thinkers on levelling up.

It outlines an approach to levelling up that connects policies, based on seven key principles, including devolving power to local communities, making civil society partners in levelling up, and accepting that no one model of place exists to ‘level up’ to.

Other key principles include investing in social as well as physical infrastructure, focusing on real economic and social outcomes, making long term financial commitments and monitoring their progress, and avoiding competition between places and people.

Professor Graeme Atherton, Head of the Centre for Inequality and Levelling Up, said: ‘This report collection lays out a road map to deliver levelling up that is based on what we know works where addressing inequality is concerned and would also command support from the communities that need the most support and the organisations that work in them. “It is clear that given the scale of the levelling up challenge, a bold and innovative agenda that cut across all parts of economic and social policy and geographical boundaries is required, and this report provides one.’

Paul Howell MP, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods, commented: ‘It is brilliant to see a range of influential voices coming together to support this agenda around looking local to level up from the bottom-up. A targeted approach is needed with investment prioritised for the places that need it most. This collection of essays sets out the key steps and approaches for how we can make levelling up work for everyone, and not just now but for the future, and as co-chair of the APPG for ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods I am very pleased to support it.’

The full report, Levelling Up – What is it and can it work, can be viewed here.

In related news, two years on from the UK’s government’s promise to level up, a new IPPR report examines the delivery of this policy for the North and offers a roadmap to ensure levelling up succeeds.

Photo by Leonardo Zorzi


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