Andrew Bridgen questions the Government on the benefits of the Mayoralty structure to the West Midlands, and asks what can be done to increase opportunities and prosperity in the East Midlands.
Levelling Up Across the UK
18. What fiscal steps his Department is taking to encourage regional growth across the UK. (900067)
The levelling-up White Paper sets out a clear plan to level up every corner of the United Kingdom, including a mission to increase productivity and improve living standards in every part of the UK by 2030. We will do this through the record funding allocated in the 2021 spending review, including £1.6 billion for the next generation of the British Business Bank’s regional investment funds. That sits alongside significant investment in communities through the £4.8 billion levelling-up fund, and giving local areas a greater say in investment, working in partnership with the Government through the £2.6 billion UK shared prosperity fund.
In recent years, the west midlands has economically outperformed the east midlands—apart from, of course, my constituency of North West Leicestershire. To what extent does my right hon. Friend believe that is due to the west midlands benefiting from its mayoralty structure? What help can the Treasury give to the east midlands to ensure that we level up with our neighbour?
I pay great tribute to the work that Andy Street has done as Mayor of the West Midlands to drive economic outperformance. I am a convinced believer in the merits of mayoral devolution, which is the best way of ensuring that levelling up is delivered at the fastest possible pace on the ground. I look forward to looking at proposals from the east midlands to ensure that we can unlock as much opportunity there as possible.