The UK government’s Levelling Up white paper will today set out a blueprint to “expand opportunities” across the United Kingdom.
The government’s ambitions include a 40 per cent increase in domestic public investment in R&D outside South East England by 2030. The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy have committed to invest at least 55 per cent of their domestic R&D funding outside the Greater South East by 2024/5.
Also, ‘Levelling Up’ will initiate the decentralisation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to local areas in Scotland and Wales. Nationwide gigabit-capable broadband and 4G coverage across the UK and 5G coverage for most of the population.
In addition, the Glasgow city region will become one of three new ‘Innovation Accelerators’. These new centres for innovation, research, and development will drive-up prosperity and opportunity for local people – each backed by a share of £100m of UK government funding.
Lucy Winskell OBE, chair of the North East local enterprise partnership responded: “We welcome the publication of the Levelling Up White Paper and government’s commitment to reducing the economic and social disparities across the UK.
“The North East currently has the highest unemployment rate in England, yet has huge opportunities through its assets, businesses and people to change that.
“With the right level of investment and partnership working with government, we can make a difference to the economic and social wealth of the region.
Lucy added: “We were also pleased to see further commitment to devolution. We are clear that local decision-making, targeting investment resources to local priorities, will make a difference and we will continue to work alongside our political partners in the region to secure the optimum devolution position for the North East.
“Other highlights for me are the confirmation that future decisions on how the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be invested will be made within the region, a focus on helping people to improve their skills and a commitment to invest in our transport systems.
“We look forward to continuing to work with all of our partners to not only level up the North East with the rest of the UK regions, but surpass them.”
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