The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has welcomed the government's "leveling up" agenda, as it believes "more can be done to improve our town and city centres".
Today (2 February 2022) levelling up secretary Michael Gove unveiled the government’s flagship levelling up white paper, which sets out a plan to transform the UK by spreading opportunity and prosperity to all parts of it.
At the heart of this new way of making and implementing policy will be 12 national missions (see in full below) - all to be achieved by 2030.
These missions will be cross-government, cross-society efforts. The first mission, for instance, will see pay, employment, and productivity grow everywhere, and the disparities between the top and worst-performing areas narrow.
Responding to the white paper, Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium, said: “As the UK’s largest private-sector employer, retail supports communities across the country by contributing to local economies and providing employment opportunities and career progression for people from all walks of life.
“We welcome the leveling up white paper and believe more can be done to improve our town and city centres. Retailers want to see initiatives that will make high streets more attractive places to invest in and more compelling places for people to visit. We will be looking at the paper in more detail and look forward to discussing with ministers how retail can help deliver on the government’s levelling up missions, including pride in place.”
However, Clare Bottle, CEO of the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA), has said that it is "extremely disappointing after all the months of hype" that warehousing is not so much as mentioned in the government’s 12 missions to level up in the UK.
"Warehousing and logistics contribute billions of pounds to the UK economy, accounts for around 7% of the UK’s workforce, and is creating increasingly diverse job opportunities, whilst also becoming more energy-efficient,” she commented. “Last month the British Property Federation’s report ‘Levelling Up – The Logic of Logistics’ confirmed significant growth in the sector as well as unprecedented demand for warehousing space, which is predicted to continue. Further, it found that additional industrial development could unlock significant additional demand and wide socio-economic benefits.
“This illustrates clearly that warehousing is already making an important contribution to the government’s leveling-up agenda, with 70 percent of demand for warehousing property coming from the North and Midlands. Therefore, we urge the government to deploy their twelve new missions appropriately, to support our sector, recognizing that warehousing’s success is a good news story not only for the economy but for society and the environment.”
THE GOVERNMENT'S 12 MISSIONS TO LEVEL UP THE UK
1. By 2030, pay, employment and productivity will have risen in every area of the UK, with each containing a globally competitive city, with the gap between the top-performing and other areas closing.
2. By 2030, domestic public investment in Research & Development outside the Greater South East will increase by at least 40% and at least one third over the Spending Review period, with that additional government funding seeking to leverage at least twice as much private sector investment over the long term to stimulate innovation and productivity growth.
3. By 2030, local public transport connectivity across the country will be significantly closer to the standards of London, with improved services, simpler fares, and integrated ticketing.
4. By 2030, the UK will have nationwide gigabit-capable broadband and 4G coverage, with 5G coverage for the majority of the population.
5. By 2030, the number of primary school children achieving the expected standard in reading, writing, and maths will have significantly increased. In England, this will mean 90% of children will achieve the expected standard, and the percentage of children meeting the expected standard in the worst-performing areas will have increased by over a third.
6. By 2030, the number of people successfully completing high-quality skills training will have significantly increased in every area of the UK. In England, this will lead to 200,000 more people successfully completing high-quality skills training annually, driven by 80,000 more people completing courses in the lowest skilled areas.
7. By 2030, the gap in Healthy Life Expectancy (HLE) between local areas where it is highest and lowest will have narrowed, and by 2035 HLE will rise by 5 years.
8. By 2030, well-being will have improved in every area of the UK, with the gap between top-performing and other areas closing.
9. By 2030, pride in place, such as people’s satisfaction with their town center and engagement in local culture and community, will have risen in every area of the UK, with the gap between the top-performing and other areas closing.
10. By 2030, renters will have a secure path to ownership with the number of first-time buyers increasing in all areas; and the government’s ambition is for the number of non-decent rented homes to have fallen by 50%, with the biggest improvements in the lowest-performing areas.
11. By 2030, homicide, serious violence, and neighbourhood crime will have fallen, focused on the worst-affected areas.
12. By 2030, every part of England that wants one will have a devolution deal with powers at or approaching the highest level of devolution and a simplified, long-term funding settlement.
Original Article: BRC welcomes government’s ‘levelling up’ plan (drapersonline.com)