A new report published by Business in the Community (BITC), The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, has today called on the Government to ensure that businesses are involved in all plans to level up the country. The report ‘The Business of Levelling Up’ comes as new legislation to support the levelling up agenda, the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill was announced during the Queen’s Speech in Parliament on 10 May 2022.
The report follows a call for evidence to understand how businesses, national government and local authorities can work together to transform communities. Focusing on a variety of themes, the report highlights the importance of collaboration in addressing key issues within a community including employment, skills, housing and transport.
The report makes 14 recommendations for national government, local government and businesses to work together to create local ‘partnerships’ and bring opportunities and investment to communities across the UK. The recommendations include:
- Businesses need to secure senior-level buy-in to effectively participate in partnerships.
- Levelling up funding needs to be flexible, long-term, localised and aligned with the levelling up missions to maximise the engagement of business and deliver transformative change.
- All partnerships need to deliver early action, understand the local issues and opportunities, develop a vision and action plan, and measure their impact.
- Town Deal Boards have the potential to be further utilised to deliver the levelling up missions, but central government needs to ensure they are truly business-led and give them increased revenue funding to enable them to operate as an effective place-based partnership.
- Businesses should utilise their knowledge and assets to benefit the partnership and the wider community.
- Businesses should harness their supply chain to engage more organisations in a partnership.
To help understand the role of businesses in place-based transformation, BITC consulted with organisations in the public and private sectors through a call for evidence, interviews, roundtables and visits. This report is the beginning of a series of publications aimed at supporting businesses to work collaboratively in communities.