The Levelling Up White Paper made some inroads into taking the nebulous agenda for regional rebalancing which has characterised post-2019 government in the UK. Yet many questions remain unanswered, and the policy detail is scant. Despite strong views from the centre on what rebalancing the national economy could and should look like, but without a taut and coherent place-policy, levelling up is like candy floss without the stick.
Our Levelling Up workstream builds on the economic analysis of regional inequality presented in our 2019 report Hitting Reset, seeking to decode the levelling up language and chart out the best routes to place prosperity, particularly in the context of cost-of-living and pandemic recovery
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Across Britain, pubs have long stood as familiar and welcoming landmarks. Their significance goes beyond mere watering holes; they have consistently played a pivotal role in knitting communities together and promoting social cohesion. Inn-valuable looks at the value of pubs – to society and to the economy – looking at both first-hand evidence and a […]
Perhaps the greatest of the myriad challenges facing local government is the continued delivery of local public services against the headwinds of rising inflation and inexorable demographic pressures. With the dozen missions outlined in the Levelling Up White Paper due to be enshrined in law, and all relying on not just the upkeep but the […]
Council finances are in a precarious position. Wound tightly from the time of the astringencies of the 2010 spending review, to the limited protections that saw the sector through the Covid years, the principal cogs of local government finance – property taxes, commercial revenue, fees and charges, capital expenditure and grant funding, are clearly out […]
As one of only three regions of the country to be net contributors to the Exchequer, the role of the South East region in advancing the levelling up agenda for national renewal remains pivotal. Resetting the South East investigates the role of the South East region in Levelling Up, and what is necessary for its […]
The Levelling Up White Paper, released in February 2022, represents the most significant, comprehensive and wide-reaching UK government statement on devolution, geographic inequality and regional political economy in at least a decade. The paper filled the intellectual void at the heart of the ubiquitous Levelling Up Agenda with a theory of disparities between places and […]
Public procurement and outsourcing have great potential when managed well, with the volume of public sector spend across the country creating many opportunitites to advance strategic economic goals. Unfortunately, for decades, successive governments have been unable to tap systematically into this potential. Now, free of the EU rulebook, with reforms on the way and a newfound […]
The relationship between the levelling up agenda and London has been the subject of intense scrutiny, both inside and outside of the city. The Local London subregion – comprising the boroughs in East and North East London – presents a clear problematisation of the often-presented view of London as a universally prosperous economic monolith. Local London and […]
The Plan for Growth, released in March 2021, is the UK government’s new plan setting out its view on how to recover from the pandemic through ‘building back better’ and ‘levelling up’ across the UK. It sets out government objectives to ‘support economic growth through investment in infrastructure, skills, and innovation’. And serves as a […]
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven the resilience and strength of England’s local government in keeping our communities safe. Equally, the ongoing socio-economic consequences demonstrate the need for strong place-based leadership and governance at the right level to help our recovery. This is especially true for Oxford, one of our country’s leading cities and one that […]
Writing in 1912, Hilaire Belloc warned: “change your hearts or you will lose your inns and you will deserve to have lost them”. Should such a calamity unfold, Belloc added that “you will have lost the last of England”. The Power of Pubs looks at the attempts made in 2020 by the UK government to […]