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Budget 2021 | PwC comments on levelling up - "clear opportunity for local councils to play a leading role"


Jonathan House, Local Government Leader at PwC, said:

“This Spending Review goes some way to showing us where the Government will focus its effort to level up the nation. It is critical that the much anticipated Levelling Up White Paper goes beyond high profile infrastructure and connectivity projects, and it’s welcome to see that at least 100 local projects will benefit from £1.7bn of funding from the first round of the Levelling Up Fund.

“While central government holds the ultimate responsibility, there is a clear opportunity for mayoral authorities and local councils to play a leading role in delivering on the levelling up agenda and building on its strengths in terms of local representation and the trust of the public.

“Local leaders must now be given the resources to translate Whitehall policy to the local context and ensure coherent delivery to those communities most in need of levelling up.”

Stella Amiss, Head of Tax for Regions at PwC, added:

“The good news is that the Chancellor reiterated his ongoing commitment to levelling up across the whole of the UK. The deployment of the first £1.7bn of the levelling up fund to communities far and wide will be welcomed by those local initiatives, the focus on local infrastructure is always well received, and announcing the first Freeport sites in Humber, Teeside and Thames is a positive first step to delivering real change in those areas. 

“However this may be regarded as a missed opportunity for a real renewed focus on developing skills and opportunities in those areas that feel left behind. A wider concerted policy to incentivise investment, skills and employment in those areas could have worked well alongside the R&D credit reform and the ambitions for the UK to become a science superpower.”


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