levelling up

How do we level up the UK?

Focus on quality jobs that work for people

This article originally appeared in the New Statesman.

Attracting the inward investment of big capital doesn’t always lead to better outcomes. People need well-paid, good-quality jobs in the communities where they live.

Regardless of your views on levelling up as a political catchphrase, there’s no doubt it hints at a remedy for feelings of place abandonment that have become all too common over the past 30 years as communities across the UK have seen their jobs, identity and hope slowly sucked away.

Anchoring our ports

This article originally appeared in the LGC.

The government’s new freeports are likely to extract wealth and opportunity from local communities, but there is an alternative, writes Sean Benstead.

At this year’s spring budget, the government announced the creation of eight freeports across England to promote regional regeneration, create high-skilled jobs and ensure sustainable economic growth.

Open letter to Michael Gove

Sarah Longlands, Chief Executive of CLES, has today written to the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, imploring him to level up the UK by bringing wealth home to communities and businesses.

As the Conservative Party Conference kicks off in Manchester, Sarah urges Mr Gove to consider three approaches to “making the most of the wealth and assets that already exist in the country’s cities, towns, villages and regions”.

Dear Mr Gove

  • POLICY PROVOCATION

    Devolve, redirect, democratise

    25th May 2021
    ...
  • PROVOCATION

    Making levelling up a reality

    31st March 2021
    ...
  • Levelling up needs to get real – but so does our response to it

    This article originally appeared in The Municipal Journal

    Levelling up is the latest buzz phrase being bandied about to address the stark divisions and variations in economic performance across the country. Whilst it is welcome that the government seems to be concerned by this unacceptable state of affairs, we must view with some scepticism a new phrase landing upon a problem which has deep and longstanding roots.

    We have indeed fallen far – research undertaken by CLES has shown that many of the regions and nations of the UK have spent time in recession through recent years. We need to get real about levelling up – the scale of the challenge facing us, and the structural factors that underpin the problem.