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Levelling Up: giving the power back to your local community

Levelling Up: giving the power back to your local community
Irishnews

New plans to spread opportunity more evenly across the UK are set to bring a much-needed boost to our left-behind communities.

The proposals will see a whopping £4.8 billion invested in regeneration projects across the country, with cash being injected into better jobs, better schools, better living standards and much more.

The UK is a fantastic success story in so many ways – but not everyone shares equally in that success. This is why the Government has launched its Levelling Up plans to transform our country by spreading prosperity to every region.

It has set ambitious targets to change the way government operates, improve public services and empower local leaders and communities to narrow those geographical divides by 2030, meaning we all can live longer and more fulfilling lives, and benefit from rises in living standards and well-being. Levelling up means everyone gets the chance to flourish.

Over £9m Levelling Up funding is being spent in Belfast, focusing on education, employment and technology. The UK Government is also supporting Belfast through contributions to the City Deal, which is worth an overall £1bn.

LEVELLING UP means everyone gets the chance to flourish.

It aims to reverse the long-term unfairness faced by forgotten communities, bringing them funding and resources so that “no matter where you live you have access to the same opportunities,” vows Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Depending where you are, Levelling Up will mean different things. In one place, it may mean more genuinely affordable social housing while in another area, it might make it easier to access cash to start up your own firm or see more green space created for families to enjoy.

Families will live healthier, happier lives with children receiving the best education they can – and job prospects will become brighter, around the whole country, not just in London and the south east.

Levelling Up plans will include:
  • Better primary schooling for our children with a focus on reading and maths, particularly in the most disadvantaged parts of the country
  • Narrowing the huge inequalities in healthy life expectancy by 2030 then, by 2035, seeing that life expectancy increased by five years
  • Improving public transport with more, faster trains and better links for the UK’s more remote areas
  • Faster broadband for everyone – with most of us able to access 5G coverage by 2030
  • A new drive on housing quality to make sure homes are fit for the 21st century

Other plans aim to restore a sense of local community and belonging where they have been lost by investing in our high streets and town centres to create places we are all proud to live in: 20 of our most in-need towns and cities will see extensive regeneration.

Levelling Up also means making our streets safer, with targets for lowering violent crimes particularly in the worst affected areas.

And there is a focus on growing the private sector to increase productivity and bring better, more well-paid jobs to the parts of the UK that need them most – improving living standards as the economy thrives. This will be helped by an increase in domestic public research and development investment outside the greater south east, and £100m of investment in three new Innovation Accelerators to match Silicon Valley.

Levelling Up is not about making every part of the UK the same or pitting one region against another.

Instead, it focuses on the success of the whole country: realising the potential of every place and every person across the UK by building on their unique strengths and spreading opportunities for individuals and businesses. It aims to celebrate every single city, town and village’s culture to make the economy stronger, more equal and more resilient, and lengthen and improve people’s lives.

Progress will be monitored closely with the help of a new Levelling Up Advisory Council to make sure it stays on track.

Find out more and have your say at gov.uk/levellingup

“The most comprehensive, ambitious plan of its kind that this country has ever seen.”

“From day one, the defining mission of this government has been to level up this country, to break the link between geography and destiny so that no matter where you live you have access to the same opportunities.

“The challenges we face have been embedded over generations and cannot be dug out overnight, but this White Paper is the next crucial step.

“It is a vision for the future that will see public spending on research and development increased in every part of the country; transport connectivity improving; faster broadband in every community; life expectancies rising; violent crime falling; schools improving; and private sector investment being unleashed.

“It is the most comprehensive, ambitious plan of its kind that this country has ever seen and it will ensure that the government continues to rise to the challenge and deliver for the people of the UK.”

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson

“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.

“Levelling Up and this White Paper is about ending this historic injustice and calling time on the postcode lottery.”

Levelling Up Secretary, Michael Gove

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