Manufacturers’ blast for levelling up in Lancashire and the North West

Almost a third of Lancashire manufacturers do not believe the Government’s plan to “level up” is happening and have yet to see any tangible benefit to their business, new research suggests.

By Tim Gavell
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 12:30 pm

A survey indicated that disenchantment towards levelling up is particularly pronounced in those regions the Government is aiming at, including the North West, North East, Yorkshire and the Humber and East Anglia.

One in four firms surveyed by Make UK said they want to see the Government prioritise support for skills training to create better job opportunities.

The manufacturing organisation said regional mayors should be empowered and given responsibility for levelling up funds to rebalance the UK economy.

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Manufacturers are unconvinced about the Government's levelling up project in Lancashire and the North West

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One in five companies questioned said upgrading local transport infrastructure was key to levelling up in the regions. The Government rowed back on plans to improve the rail infrastructure across the North West by creating a new cross Pennine link in its Integrated Rail Plan late last year.

Ben Fletcher, of Make UK, said: “Manufacturing has a proven track record of bringing huge amounts of inward investment, prosperity and well-paid jobs across the whole of the UK.

“Key to delivering this is for Government to give us a much-needed national manufacturing plan to concentrate growth in those areas which need investment the most, and where there are the people ready and waiting to take up the new jobs the manufacturing sector could provide.

“Boosts to infrastructure and skills are clearly needed and a dramatic improvement of digital connectivity will allow companies from the whole of the UK to compete successfully on the global stage and deliver true levelling up for all.”