3 Feb 2022

Levelling Up White Paper pledges ‘huge shift of power’ from Whitehall 

The government’s long-awaited Levelling Up White Paper provides a blueprint for spreading opportunity more equally across the country. 

Levelling Up Secretary, Michael Gove, said: “For decades, too many communities have been overlooked and undervalued”, adding that this white paper “is about ending this historic injustice and calling time on the postcode lottery.”  

Key points include increasing public investment in research and development by at least 40% in some regions, and ‘the largest devolution of power from Whitehall to local leaders across England in modern times’. The paper claims to offer ‘radical new policies’, to be achieved by 2030.

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In July 2021, The Young Foundation’s Institute for Community Studies published Why don’t they ask us?, a report exploring the role of communities in levelling up. This work put forward three concrete recommendations; proposing the creation of a new ‘Levelling Up Commission’, a drive to create or bolster local partnerships to advise this Commission, and a move to more equitable distribution of asset ownership, putting local hubs in the hands of the people that use them. 

The white paper launches a decade-long project to level up Britain. Noting its aim to set out ‘a complete system change’, the Institute for Community Studies Associate Director, Richard Harries, said: “This is a wide-ranging set of proposals to level up the country. It is pleasing to see real weight given to wellbeing and pride in place. The question we will be asking over the coming weeks and months is what communities themselves think of the proposals and how they can be meaningfully involved in making them a reality”.  

Join us for a panel discussion with sector experts and community leaders, 8:30-10am on Wednesday 9 February, taking a closer look at the 'missions’ laid out in the white paper and discussing what these may mean in practice.