A Plan for Local Growth
Author: Joe Fyans and Zayn Qureshi |
The Plan for Growth, released in March 2021, is the UK government’s new plan setting out its view on how to recover from the pandemic through ‘building back better’ and ‘levelling up’ across the UK. It sets out government objectives to ‘support economic growth through investment in infrastructure, skills, and innovation’. And serves as a new framework through which to deliver on the three ‘peoples priorities’ key to the Conservative victory in the 2019 general election. These priorities include:
- Levelling Up across the UK;
- Reaching net zero emissions by 2050;
- Seizing the opportunities of Global Britain in light of our departure from the EU.
‘A Plan for Local Growth’ provides a localist interpretation and augmentation of the plan, focusing on areas where pre-existing models for policy and action at the local level could help bolster the effort to build back better. Using the forthcoming Levelling Up White Paper as a focus point, the report provides four key points by which the white paper can build on the Plan for Growth.
Localis firmly believe that national recovery through building back better and ‘levelling up’ will only succeed through a grounded approach focused on place. This moment of collective renewal provides an opportunity to truly empower the local state by giving it the necessary powers needed to lead from the front and deliver on government ambitions as laid out in the Plan for Growth.
To build on the foundations laid in the Plan for Growth and ensure a multifaceted, dynamic recovery, the Levelling Up White Paper must:
- Create pathways to community autonomy as a vehicle for hyperlocal, small-scale and patient financing of regeneration.
- Build a framework for devolution to Skills Advisory Panels to facilitate local collaboration between employers, providers and education authorities to further accelerate the push to improve skill levels.
- As part of the above, create a clear role for the local state in driving towards the skills for net zero.
- Clarify and codify the role for existing institutions of the local state – particularly local authorities in LEPs – in driving economic development.