Levelling Up the UK for a post-Covid recovery
Levelling up the UK to tackle poverty
The Salvation Army works in some of the poorest communities across the UK running foodbanks, providing shelter to the homeless and helping people to find work and manage their debts.
We are calling on the Government to invest its Levelling Up Fund in the most deprived areas to help local people move out of poverty.
What is the Levelling Up Fund?
The Government has made £4.8 billion available to local authorities across the UK as part of its ‘Levelling Up’ agenda to address regional inequalities.
We welcome the Government’s plan set out in its White Paper to increase opportunities, raise wages and provide decent housing in the UK’s most deprived communities. However, we are concerned that many of these communities have yet to benefit, even though half of the fund has already been allocated. We are urging the Government to rethink where and how the remainder of the money is invested so it helps those most in need.
How the fund can help deprived areas?
We are calling for the Government to:
- Reconsider how funding is allocated from the Levelling Up Fund, to ensure investment is made in the most deprived communities.
- Develop a new plan of investment to fund childcare so that parents can access work and training opportunities.
- Invest in skills and employment support to help individuals out of low-skill, low-wage employment.
- Engage with communities to identify what investment will best ‘Level Up’ their areas.
Our report ‘Understanding People, Understanding Places' showed that more than a third of England’s most deprived areas were at risk of missing out on Levelling Up funding.
Our Key Findings
The efforts the Government has made in establishing the Levelling Up Agenda is promising and draws attention to the need to leverage communities that are at risk of being left behind.
We must ensure that the investment goes to the areas where the need is greatest, and that the funding is not just spent on big infrastructure projects like roads and bridges but on services that the communities need.
Plans for deprived communities welcome but race on to ensure funding reaches those most in need.
Many of England’s most deprived communities have yet to see any Levelling Up cash.
More than a third of England’s most deprived areas will not benefit from the Government’s £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund.
The Government must ensure those living in the most deprived areas of the country are not forgotten.