Publication Devolution 25 October, 2023

A neighbourhood strategy for national renewal

Read the full report  

We are at a crucial moment for England’s ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods, and decisions made in the next few years will define their prospects for decades to come. Decisive action is now urgently needed to save levelling up from the strategic drift which threatens to waste the significant political will generated in recent years to transform the fortunes of these places.

Reform has provided policy support for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for 'left behind' neighbourhoods, a cross-party group of MPs and Peers that is dedicated to improving conditions and opportunities for people living in areas which face a combination of economic deprivation and insufficient social infrastructure.

A neighbourhood strategy for national renewal is the final report from the APPG's inquiry into levelling up, which examined whether the Government's signature policy agenda would be likely to align with the needs and aspirations of the 2.4 million people living in England's 225 'left behind' neighbourhoods.

The report sets out proposals to realise a better future for ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods, gathered from the insights and evidence yielded by the inquiry process and the perspectives of communities themselves. It argues that levelling up must:

  • Be led by local people, who are best-placed to know what needs to be done to improve local outcomes
  • Reflect local needs and circumstances – not follow a generic national template
  • Entrust decision-making – including control of funding – to communities, not only Whitehall or the town hall
  • Invest long-term in communities – to build capacity, social infrastructure, opportunity and resilience.

A neighbourhood strategy for national renewal was kindly supported by Local Trust, the secretariat to the APPG for 'left behind' neighbourhoods.