London receives double investment cash than rest of England in levelling-up blow

MINISTERIAL pledges to ‘level-up’  still appear to be a pipedream as London receives nearly double the investment in infrastructure projects.

The capital receives an  average investment of £6,058 per person compared to the rest of England hitting just £3,316 exposing the stark regional difference.

Rishi Sunak announced a £1billion levelling up pot recently


Rishi Sunak announced a £1billion levelling up pot recentlyCredit: AFP

Levelling up was a pledge by then Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the 2019 general election campaign to reduce regional inequality.

But a report by the Purposeful Finance Commission argues that more work must be done to connect private investors with communities.

A lack of expertise in councils among planning and regeneration teams are seen as  a significant barrier to delivering projects.

The time-consuming planning regime is also blamed with developers spending four times as long getting permission to build as they do constructing a scheme.

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The best performing area – Camden and City of London – saw their investment levels nearly seven times the national average.

Tracy Blackwell, chair of the PFC, said their report is  “outlining  some of the barriers that are impacting regeneration”.

Rishi Sunak announced last month £1 billion of levelling up funding for 55 towns to be handed out over the next decade.

Areas will set up a board which will bring together businesses, councils and community leaders under the Long Term Plan for Towns.

Mr Sunak said that politicians “had taken towns for granted and focused on cities”.

A Whitehall source last night said:    “This report shows why it’s absolutely vital that the Government doubles down on its mission to level up ahead of the next election.”