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Committee hears from local government and regional business voices

5 October 2020

Ahead of an evidence hearing on Thursday, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee has today published the written evidence submissions for its new ‘levelling up’ inquiry.

The Committee has received a range of submissions from businesses and industry groups, local authorities, and from universities, academics and others (including the Office for National Statistics, Deloitte, UK2070 Commission, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and the CBI).

The BEIS Committee kicks off its new ‘levelling up’ inquiry with an opening evidence session on Thursday morning where it will hear from local government and from regional business voices.

Chair's comments

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s evidence hearing, Darren Jones, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said:

“Much was made of the Prime Minister’s declared commitment to a ‘levelling-up’ agenda for England. Rebalancing growth and delivering sustainable local economies across the country is vital but written evidence submissions to our inquiry point to confusion around the structures and leadership to deliver the levelling-up agenda and an absence of meaningful data to measure success.

“In our inquiry, we want to look at the structures which English regions will need to stimulate and help deliver local growth. We will also want to look at how to assess performance on the levelling-up agenda, regional funding post-Brexit, how ‘shovel ready’ growth projects in England could help drive local growth and jobs and also how clustered R&D investment might support local growth”.

The introductory session on Thursday is likely to look at questions around what is ‘levelling up’, the evidence base and how it can be measured, how ‘levelling up’ can be effectively targeted and investment in skills and R&D. The hearing is also likely to cover questions around the Shared Prosperity Fund and local funding post-Brexit, and how the Government’s Infrastructure Delivery Taskforce, ‘Project Speed’, can support the levelling-up agenda.

The BEIS Committee’s inquiry will be looking at how local and regional government structures in England (including the role of powerhouses, local enterprise partnerships and growth hubs, city and regional mayoralties, and councils) could be reformed or better equipped to deliver growth locally.


Please note there is no access to Parliament and the session will have remote participation by witnesses and Committee members.

Thursday 1st October, virtual meeting

At 10.30am

  • Mark Bretton, Chair of the LEP Network, Chair of Hertfordshire LEP
  • Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe Vice Chair of the LGA’s City Regions Board and Leader of Bradford Council
  • Councillor Sue Baxter, Chairman, National Association of Local Councils

At 11.15am

  • Stuart Elford, CEO Devon Chamber of Commerce
  • Louise Bennett OBE DL, CEO Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce
  • Chris Fletcher, Campaigns Director, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
  • Sandy Needham DL, CEO West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce

Levelling up sub-inquiry & the overall Post-pandemic economic growth inquiry

The Post-pandemic economic growth inquiry, launched in June, is an over-arching inquiry likely to run through the Parliament and will include a series of sub-inquiries examining issues such as devolution and the ‘levelling-up’ agenda, the role Government might play as a shareholder or investor in businesses in the future, and the measures needed to rebuild consumer confidence and stimulate economically and environmentally sustainable growth. Further terms of reference for these sub-inquiries will be published during the course of the Parliament.