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ICE Green Paper: defining the outcomes from levelling up

02 March 2022

In February 2022, the UK government published its Levelling Up White Paper, setting out the scale of regional inequality in the UK, the impact it has on individual opportunity and collective economic performance, and how it plans to address these issues.

Central to the white paper is delivering better economic and social opportunities to all parts of the population.

The role of economic infrastructure in enabling these opportunities is huge, be it through connectivity, job creation, access to services, and ensuring the systems underlying day-to-day life are resilient.

Without knowing how levelling up can be effectively measured and its outcomes addressed through infrastructure interventions, the investment directed towards it could be wasted.

The opportunity to support delivery of other objectives such as net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and align the 12 Levelling Up missions with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals could also be missed.

ICE is keen to gather evidence and views from infrastructure professionals, civil engineers, civil society groups and other stakeholders across a number of questions:

    1. Are the missions identified in the Levelling Up White Paper the right ones in order to address regional socio-economic inequalities? If not, what should they be?
    2. Which of the missions should be prioritised to deliver the greatest impact on addressing regional socio-economic inequalities?
    3. What role is there for infrastructure in achieving the missions?
    4. How can the existing infrastructure system be retooled to support achieving the missions?
    5. How can the missions in the White Paper best be delivered? Is the proposed governance structure the right one?
    6. What are the infrastructure policy changes needed from central government to deliver levelling up?
    7. What are the infrastructure policy changes that need to be delivered locally?
    8. What are the metrics and outcomes needed to know whether the government has achieved its missions? How will we know that we are levelling up?

Responses should be sent to ICE Policy. The consultation will close on Friday 08 April 2022.

The findings from responses to this paper, alongside further evidence gathering, will be formed into a policy paper with recommendations ahead of the government’s plans to enact legislation in order to achieve its levelling up ambitions.

ICE Green Paper: defining the outcomes from levelling up

Content type: Policy

Last updated: March 2022

Authors: ICE

  • David Hawkes, head of policy at ICE