Future-proofing society

Inclusive local investment needed across the UK

This latest edition of the RBI not only outlines the continuing scale of the challenge facing the UK, but is very much intended to act as a blueprint to help the new Government navigate the issue over the coming years to ensure that what action it takes can have the maximum positive impact where and how it is most needed.

19 Oct 2022

Meet our experts

John Godfrey

Director of Levelling Up

Group Communications

We’ve been tracking the government’s progress in levelling up the UK since 2021 through our Rebuilding Britain Index (RBI). On a quarterly basis, we combine a survey of 20,000 people with quantitative data to assess how well the country is “building back better” post pandemic. We track progress against 52 measures, including: Health and Social Care, Education, Housing, Jobs & Economic Prosperity, Environment, Energy, Transport and Digital.

This month, our seventh Rebuilding Britain Index reinforces the need for local investment across the UK, to ensure funding is allocated where it is most needed: as we’ve seen through our work investing £30 billion in regional economies around the UK.  

The turbulence that the UK is currently experiencing reaffirms the importance of addressing the economic, energy, and wider structural challenges facing the UK as a whole. It is for this reason that the announcement of the creation of potential Investment Zones across England to stimulate economic growth should provide some cause for optimism. Whatever form Investment Zones may take,  a targeted and local-led approach to investment is how regions and places will thrive, and this requires devolved and empowered local decision-making.

John Godfrey

Director of Levelling Up

Legal & General

Investment zones

Set against the recently launched Investment zones initiative in England, it is encouraging that the Government is looking to combine policy with an approach that addresses some of the barriers that often delay development where it is most needed. We believe it is vital that we adopt a holistic and inclusive approach to investment – which caters to the needs of the local communities we are trying to invigorate.

Our data shows that taking a targeted and local-led approach to investment is how these Investment Zones will thrive, requiring devolved and empowered local decision-making.

Our analysis reveals:

  • across the whole of the RBI, Cornwall is the lowest performing Investment Zone
  • from an economic perspective, Blackpool, Stoke-on-Trent, Cornwall and Hull score significantly lower than the Investment Zones of GLA, Cheshire West & Chester, Warwickshire and the West of England Combined Authority
  • Only four of the named Investment Zones do not fall significantly behind the UK average across at least one of the seven key RBI measures – these four are: Warwickshire Country, Gloucestershire County, Southampton City, and the North of Tyne Combined Authority
  • Suffolk County, Stoke-on-Trent, Norfolk County and Cornwall significantly underperform against the UK average across at least five of the seven key metrics

Looking across our data, housing is the measure with the greatest gap between the top performing Investment Zone and the worst performing – a gap of 35 points. We also see a gap of 30-points on the Education measure, 26-points on Jobs & Economic Prosperity and 25-points on Digital.

Find out more about where you live

Explore our interactive map to see how your local area is performing. For example, it’s interesting to note that London is one of the lowest-performing areas for housing, but scores well across other metrics, demonstrating how nuanced ‘levelling up’ is across the UK.