Stockport-based Dr Nicola Headlam has helped inform a call from the House of Lords for the Government to urgently publish its Levelling Up strategy.
In a letter to the Prime Minister this week, the House of Lords Public Services Committee referred to insight from Dr Headlam, chief economist at business data company Red Flag Alert, as it recommended that gaps in local and national data are addressed to support productivity, skills and income.
The Government’s Levelling Up strategy intends to reduce regional disparities across the UK, with a commitment that ‘no community is left behind’. £4.8billion has been allocated by Government for its Levelling Up fund, which will be spent on supporting town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects, and cultural and heritage assets.
A White Paper outlining the Levelling Up strategy is due for publication later this year.
Dr Headlam commented: “COVID-19 has shone another spotlight on regional differences on jobs, productivity and prosperity across the UK. There’s a huge opportunity for Government funding to address this and rebalance areas of underinvestment. However, for this to be achieved, we need a data-led strategy to ensure decisions and allocation of funds are directed towards those areas suffering the greatest inequalities.
“Levelling Up must understand how the pandemic is impacting businesses and communities on a local level, and how this reshapes what is required to drive a national economic recovery.”
Written evidence from Dr Headlam formed part of eight recommendations from the House of Lords for Levelling Up to be successful. The Public Services Committees’ letter to the Prime Minister can be viewed here: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/5952/documents/67603/default/