The Future of Levelling Up: Does it have one?

Friday October 21st 1-3pm

W(h)ither Levelling Up post-Johnson?

'Levelling Up' was Boris Johnson's signature policy during his time as prime minister, particularly after the 2019 election. Although some critics argued that it amounted more to a political slogan than a comprehensive policy agenda (Tomaney and Pike 2020), it nonetheless refocused attention on the potential role of local government in regional development and seeking a more balanced approach to economic growth. Other initiatives, such as the growth in metro mayors and devolution, chimed with this approach.

With Liz Truss now installed in Downing Street, and levelling up not being a prominent issue in the Conservative leadership campaign, the future of the idea appears unclear. Nonetheless, the new government has stressed the importance of economic growth as a way of limiting the long-term impact of Covid-19 and the invasion of Ukraine on the public finances. Such a strategy should seek to exploit the potential of all parts of the UK, not just London and the south east of England. As such, even if ministers may be less likely to speak the language of Levelling Up, they might still seek to deliver its objectives.

This online event brings together practitioners and academics to discuss how the agenda may develop under the Truss Government, with a particular focus on subnational and local tiers of governance. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Arianna Giovannini (Reader in Local Politics and Public Policy, De Montfort University)
  • Andy Hollingsworth (Head of Devolution Strategy, Greater Manchester Combined Authority)
  • Matthew Barton (Head of Strategy & Business Planning, Cornwall Council)
  • Jonathan Webb (Senior Research Fellow, IPPR North)
Online via Zoom