Sunderland City Council chief calls on Government to work with local leaders and businesses to 'Level Up' city

The top man at Sunderland City Council is among a group of local leaders from across the country calling on the Government to better work with councils and businesses to drive forward development in areas which need ‘levelling-up’.

Boris Johnson set out plans for ensuring ‘the whole UK can benefit from the same access to opportunities’ after winning the 2019 General Election.

And despite the ravaging effect covid has had on the country’s finances, the PM has insisted the Levelling Up agenda remains core to the Government’s vision.

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A Levelling Up White Paper is due to be published before the end of 2021, articulating how ‘bold new policy interventions will improve opportunity and boost livelihoods across the country as we recover from the pandemic’.

Sunderland Council leader Cllr Graeme Miller is among eight council chiefs and mayors pressing Government for what their areas need to 'Level Up'.

As regional leaders await details of the plans, think-tank Centre for Cities has today published a document featuring contributions from eight mayors and urban council leaders on what they need from the Government’s upcoming Levelling Up White Paper to help level up their areas.

The anthology, titled What urban leaders what from the Levelling Up White Paper, includes a contribution from Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council.

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In it, Cllr Miller states: “Cities need to be given enhanced fiscal and policy tools to develop public private partnerships of significant scale to boost local economic growth.”

The council chief said Sunderland is delivering levelling up through:

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:: Providing quality housing so everyone has a safe, sustainable, attractive environment to grow up in.

:: Regenerating the city centre through our Sunderland Riverside project to make it a place where people want to live, work, and spend.

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:: Delivering world class digital connectivity to compete with similar sized cities on a global level and attract investment from the creative and tech industries.

:: Developing public private partnerships to create skills clusters that deliver high wage jobs through our Sunderland Housing Ecosystem and Electric Vehicle Hub.

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He added: "But we could go further if we had an enhanced relationship with Government – Nissan’s investment in Sunderland shows what the Government, a private company and a city working together can achieve and we need more of this."

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