The Northern Powerhouse, Midlands Engine, Levelling Up – straplines have changed over the years, but the challenges of rebalancing the UK economy and releasing untapped potential across our regions remain all too familiar.
Evidence of this regional imbalance is stark, not least in terms of lower productivity. But what’s also stark is its impact. Fewer jobs, wages below the national average, young people with fewer opportunities, and often wider health impacts. It leads many to feel like they get a raw deal.
This is a familiar picture in many of our towns and cities, and the increasing political consensus on the need to tackle this challenge is welcome. But translation of these good intentions into real, practical action and investment at a national and local level can feel elusive.