What is Levelling Up and how will it benefit Grimsby?


What is Levelling Up and how will it benefit Grimsby?

Levelling Up plans to improve opportunities across the country based on the idea that people and communities that feel they have been left behind, should get a chance to catch up.

The plan was an integral part of the Conservatives’ 2019 election campaign, something which helped cause the landslide election.

In its 2019 manifesto, the Conservative Party said it would be “levelling up every part of the UK”, which would involve:

  • Investing in towns, cities, and rural and coastal areas
  • Giving those areas more control of how investment is made
  • Levelling up skills using apprenticeships and a £3bn National Skills Fund
  • Making life much easier for farming and fishing industries
  • Creating up to 10 freeports to help deprived communities.

However, in the three years since this tory government came into power, not much has been done in terms of levelling up.

At the start of February the ‘white paper’ – which details governments’ plans for the scheme- was released after months of delays.

The government allocated a £4.8bn fund to support regeneration, transport projects, and education across the UK as part of the programme.

Under new plans, the government have outlined their ambition to “transform the UK by spreading opportunity and prosperity to all parts of it.”

Despite these plans, one of the integral transport schemes for the North was scrapped before the white paper was even published.

Back in November, the long-awaited HS2 line which aimed to connect London with the city centres of Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds was scrapped despite promises from the government.

So far in Grimsby, Humberside Police took on 215 new recruits under the scheme and have targeted funding to tackle problem areas in the West Marsh.

The Kabash area of the docks and the traditional fish smokehouses also received the Greater Grimsby Heritage Action Zone funding.

The Humber freeport was also given the go-ahead last year, creating 1300 jobs after being recognised as the leading bid.

Although these changes do aim to help the local area, much more needs to be done in terms of housing, transport, training and education.

Despite government focus being centred on the pandemic for the past two years, many feel that they have taken a snail’s pace in terms of delivering its promises.

Even though Grimsby has been awarded £41 million in funding, the advantages and benefits of Levelling Up have only been felt in some areas, with much more needed to close the disparity between the North and the South.

Do you think Levelling Up will help Grimsby? Let us know in the comments!

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Ellie joined Gi Media in July 2021.