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What is levelling up and how is it going?

Details: Written by Eleanor Lodge |

Early this year, the Government unveiled the Levelling Up White Paper, hailed as a plan to “transform the UK”.

The flagship Levelling Up paper included twelve bold national levelling up missions, designed to shift government focus and resources to “Britain’s forgotten communities”, moving decision-making power away from Whitehall and into the hands of local leaders.

What is Levelling Up?

Wealth in Great Britain is significantly unequally divided; In 2016, the ONS calculated that the richest 10% of households hold 44% of all wealth, while the poorest 50%, by contrast, own just 9%. Now, following years of instability, furlough, job losses and a rising energy crisis, inequality is on the rise with regional disparities in the UK greater than in most comparable countries.

The Government Levelling Up White Paper 2022 was designed to close inequality gaps across the UK and ensure a more even split of opportunities and development across all areas of the country.

How is Levelling Up going?

  1. The Government's latest plan proposes to increase public investment in research and development outside the South East of England by 40%, by 2030.
  2. In October 2021, the Government revealed the successful bids for the first round of the £4.8bn Levelling-Up Fund. A total of just under £1.7bn was shared between 105 towns, cities and areas.
  3. The Government has pledged to have 22,000 civil servants based outside London by the end of the decade, with a target for 25% of roles to be outside London by 2025.
  4. The chancellor announced an extra £126m in March 2021 to fund work placements and training for 16 to 24-year-olds in England.

Find out more about Levelling Up here