What the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper means for businesses

Every part of England will be given “London-style” powers and a mayor in a bid to level up the nation, it has been announced.

The plans form part of the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, which aims to transform the UK by redistributing power to the people at the heart of each region.

Here’s what we know so far.

What is the Levelling Up White Paper?

The Levelling Up White Paper sets out a “complete system change” of how Government works, shifting power from Whitehall to local leaders.

The flagship strategy is split into 12 “national missions”, covering everything from pay and employment to transport and education.

Each mission will be “quantifiable” and achievable by 2030.

“Devolution revolution”

Building on the success of strong local leadership mayors such as Andy Street, Ben Houchen and Andy Burnham, the Government will relinquish powers from Whitehall to local leaders across England.

Devolution gives local authorities the power to target spending more effectively.

The first nine areas invited to begin negotiations include Cornwall, Derbyshire and Derby, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, Durham, Hull and East Yorkshire, Leicestershire, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire and Nottingham, and Suffolk.

And by 2030, every part of England that wishes to have a ‘London-style’ devolution deal will have one.

How will this impact my business?

The national strategy sets out a number of measures designed to level the playing field between urban and rural businesses.

This includes:

Increasing public investment in R&D in regions outside the Greater South East by at least 40 per cent by 2030
Launching three new Innovation Accelerators in Manchester, the West Midlands and Glasgow to support start-up businesses
New rules for private landlords and private rented accommodation, in which all homes must meet a minimum standard
Ending Section 21 “no fault” evictions and introducing a new landlords register, with fines and bans for landlords who repeatedly break the rules
Increasing cultural spending outside of London
A review of the Community Ownership Fund so that more fans can take control of their vital local assets, such as football club grounds
£44 million will be unlocked from the Dormant Assets Scheme to support charities and social enterprises
New powers to require commercial landlords of empty shops to fill them if they have been left vacant for too long.

“Not everyone shares equally in the UK’s success”

Commenting on the White Paper, Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said: “The United Kingdom is an unparalleled success story. We have one of the world’s biggest and most dynamic economies. Ours is the world’s most spoken language. We have produced more Nobel Prize winners than any country other than America.

“But not everyone shares equally in the UK’s success. For decades, too many communities have been overlooked and undervalued. As some areas have flourished, others have been left in a cycle of decline. The UK has been like a jet firing on only one engine.”

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