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Levelling up London

Levelling up is a central plank of the government’s economic policy, focused on the less well-off parts of the country and how to bring them up to the standards seen elsewhere. But the government’s agenda is currently rather poorly defined and conflated with anti-London resentment across the rest of the country.

Centre for London is undertaking research to shape this agenda so that it reflects the scale of the challenges within London and recognises the importance of the capital to the UK’s economy.

A new opportunity to shape the agenda

The recent appointment of Michael Gove MP as the Secretary of State for the newly-titled Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and former Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane as the lead of a new Levelling Up Taskforce represent a new opportunity to shape the agenda.

Our contribution to this important debate

There is a poor understanding of the scale of the socio-economic challenges within London, despite the city having the worst levels of poverty and deprivation of any part of the country. We will build a more persuasive argument on the need to level up within London.

Too much of the debate seems to focus on London needing to be poorer for elsewhere to be richer. As the current Prime Minister himself said back in 2012 when Mayor of London – “If you’re going to drive the UK economy you’ve got to invest in London.” We need to find new and persuasive ways of saying this. We will construct a new narrative on why London’s success matters to the whole country.

In October 2021, we published new polling undertaken by Savanta which revealed that Londoners support levelling up outside the capital, but think government isn’t addressing London’s problems. Find out more.

Join us

As London’s dedicated think tank, and because of our independence and track record of convening leading organisations and decision-makers, Centre for London is uniquely placed to lead on this work.

We are currently looking for partners to collaborate with and also for organisations to sponsor this work. If you’d like to join us, contact Nick Bowes, Chief Executive.