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One Powerhouse Consortium declares that levelling up is better done than said

·3 min read

Spatial plans provide the key to 'Levelling Up' and unlocking the wealth of England's regions

LONDON, Jan. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The One Powerhouse Consortium in partnership with the RSA today hosted a meeting of MPs and local government leaders at which they called on the government to deploy 'spatial planning' as a clear, practical step to unlock the human talent and wealth across England's four super regions of the North, the Midlands, the South West and the South East and get 'Levelling Up' done.

The Consortium has further called on the government to ask a suitable body such as The National Infrastructure Commission to build on the work already done, accelerate the agglomeration already begun and create regional growth boards as the fastest way to level up England's regions.

Spatial plans are the 'where of decision making', and are a cross between a map and a shopping list. Successfully used in the US, Germany and the Netherlands, The One Powerhouse Consortium has produced draft plans for England's super regions with world class practitioners: Atkins (for the North), Aecom (for the South East) and Barton Wilmore (for the South West and the Midlands).

These spatial plans will be vital in swiftly guiding government and local authorities to make the right decisions in the right places for the economy to recover and then grow.

Sir Hugh Sykes, whose Charitable Foundation funded the Consortium as a philanthropic gesture to the nation, said after the launch: "Time is short, but One Powerhouse has done all the initial work for the Government to begin the process of levelling up England's regions as an integral part of the plan to recover from the pandemic. We hope they accept this gift, engage the National Infrastructure Commission to take our work to the next level, and to create regional growth boards to implement these spatial plans.'

Matthew Taylor, the CEO of the RSA added: "Regional spatial planning is both practical and transformative, providing a realistic roadmap to 'levelling up' for English regions. We believe it can play a vital role in unpicking the inequities of the past, while preparing us for the new challenges of the post-covid future."

Notes to Editors

The One Powerhouse Consortium

  • The regions of England have been blighted by low productivity and inequality of opportunity for many years. The causes are historic and political, local and national. Governments of all colours have tried various ways of addressing these imbalances with little evidence of success.

  • The One Powerhouse Consortium, supported by the Sir Hugh and Lady Sykes Charitable Foundation, believes the answer lies in making a plan - and sticking to it. And the key to Levelling Up is 'Spatial Planning'.

About spatial planning

  • 'Spatial Planning' is the transparent mechanism that delivers the required framework for investment and the vital accountability that goes with it to help the regions of England address inequality and develop sustainably for the benefit of all in that region.

  • It is well understood that countries and regions around the world have used spatial planning to focus political will, economic activity and social reform to great effect. Notable examples include Germany's Rhine-Ruhr, Holland's Randstad and New York City's Regional Plan Association.

  • Spatial planning is the 'where' of decisions. It looks at a defined geographical area and makes an assessment of everything contained in that area – towns, cities, housing, schools, universities, roads, rails, airports, offices, factories and then makes assessments and recommendations for further development

More information: www.onepowerhouseconsortium.co.uk