On 26th April 2022, the Centre for the New Midlands hosted its first Panel Discussion, with guests debating the question of whether the Government’s recently published White Paper would kickstart the Levelling Up agenda or if it was too little, too late.
The panel, which was comprised of Professor Alex de Ruyter (Director of Brexit Studies, Birmingham City University), Kate Algate (CEO, Coventry Citizens Advice), Amardeep Gill (Partner, Trowers & Hamlins) and chaired by Chris Smith (Founder and Managing Director, Centre for the New Midlands) gave their perspectives on a range of themes associated with the Levelling Up agenda. The panel considered:
- Whether the White Paper was too little too late or set out an ambitious agenda for change
- How prevailing economic challenges would impact on the agenda;
- How (greater) devolution could empower local economies;
- The real need to make structural changes so that societal impacts could ensue
Chris Smith, Founder and Managing Director of the think tank commented,
“The Levelling Up agenda is of fundamental importance to the future prosperity of the West Midlands, but also to the broader United Kingdom. It was interesting that the the panel members broadly agreed that whilst the sentiment of the White Paper was to be applauded, there was universal concern about the lack of new investment from the Government in making the aims a reality”.
Amardeep Gill, Partner at Trowers & Hamlins added,
“It was a really engaging session with great input from the audience. It was a pleasure to be able to support and sponsor this event with the Centre for the New Midlands and look forward to working together to enhance policy making across the region”.