Publication Devolution 2 February, 2023

Levelling up local outcomes: the importance of community spaces to neighbourhood regeneration

Read the full report  

One year on from the 'Levelling Up White Paper', much greater progress on reducing regional inequality is needed. For 'left behind' neighbourhoods (LBNs) - the 225 areas across England in the most deprived 10% (based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation) and in the bottom 10% for social infrastructure assets - this need is especially pressing.

This paper, produced by Local Trust with Reform as part of our work for the APPG on 'left behind' neighbourhoods, sets out the double-bind facing these deprived areas, many of which have the worst socio-economic outcomes of anywhere in England. It calls for a renewed focus on social infrastructure and a sustained commitment from government to scale-up community assets in these 'left behind' neighbourhoods.

The report presents three headline policy recommendations:

  • The Government should ensure that its proposed Strategy for Community Spaces and Relationships constitutes a long-term, hyper-local, evidence-led strategy to place social infrastructure at the heart of Levelling Up
  • The Government should introduce a reinvented Levelling Up funding model that directly targets investment at 'left behind' neighbourhoods
  • The Government should deliver new community rights, such as a new Community Right to Own, that are underpinned by new resources from central government