A transformation programme is needed to rebalance the country’s economic geography.
Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcement on levelling up, infrastructure and the Green Book, Chris Hearld, KPMG’s Head of Regions, said:
“Nothing short of a transformation programme is needed to rebalance the country’s economic geography and this is the yardstick against which policies and investment must be measured.
“A levelling up fund, particularly one that takes a broad place based approach, is to be welcomed, though businesses in parts of the country will be wondering how this relates to the devolution agenda and leadership on the ground, in combined authorities for example, to ensure successful bids contribute to real regional economic transformation.
“More fundamentally, combining the two critical agendas of a low carbon focused infrastructure-led economic recovery from COVID-19 with levelling up certainly has the potential to be a win-win plan. The North is at the forefront of the country’s energy production and decarbonisation innovation so to base the National Infrastructure Bank there is sensible.
“It lacked a shout out but revising the Green Book is actually one of the most exciting proposals as it suggests an understanding of the structural nature of the change needed to really drive transformation in underperforming parts of our economy, for the benefit of all.
“Addressing the chronic issue of regional economic inequality means engaging in a complicated jigsaw of interconnected investment decisions with place at its heart. Flagship but isolated ventures won’t deliver, despite their undoubted value.”
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