North East Devolution and Levelling Up

‘Put towns and cities in the recovery driving seat’ – L & G

Localities should be in charge of their own recoveries from the coronavirus pandemic, with businesses providing investment, according to the head of one of those behind the Helix science and residential development in Newcastle city centre. 

The Legal & General Rebuilding Britain Index, launched yesterday, has been established to measure the UK’s progress in levelling up on a quarterly basis. 

It tracks social and economic progress quarterly across the country, using a combination of statistical data and community opinion across 51 measures, including health and social care, education, housing, jobs and economic prosperity, environment, energy, transport and digital. 

It finds that in the north the greatest need if levelling up is to be achieved is for jobs while in the south it is affordable housing that is most required. 

Legal & General is a partner in Newcastle’s Helix development, which is providing homes as well as science buildings, with Newcastle University and the City Council. 

Nigel Wilson, Legal& General chief executive, said: ‘“Levelling up and building back better are, rightly, key government priorities. Our new Rebuilding Britain Index shows that investment priorities differ by area – but that job creation and affordable housing are the centrepiece to improving quality of life. 

‘We have invested over £29bn in partnership with the public and private sector to deliver tangible regeneration which delivers more affordable housing, creates jobs and supports regional economic growth. 

‘As inequality widens across the UK, developing local investment strategies to meet local priorities has never been more important. 

‘Towns and cities should be in the driving seat of their own recovery and it’s up to businesses like ours to provide the investment needed to realise these ambitions’.