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Partnerships in Place: The Business of Levelling Up

This report provides practical recommendations to business, local government and national government on the role that business can play in delivering the ‘how’ of the Levelling Up White Paper, as well as the foundations that are needed, both nationally and locally, to truly transform communities.


With levelling up increasingly at the forefront of government policy, the LGA have supported Business in the Community’s (BITC) Place Taskforce to launch a new report looking into the role of business and cross-sector partnerships in place-based regeneration. The report provides practical recommendations to business, local government and national government on the role that business can play in delivering the ‘how’ of the Levelling Up White Paper, as well as the foundations that are needed, both nationally and locally, to truly transform communities.


Background

BITC’s Place Taskforce, chaired by Lord Steve Bassam and made up of leaders from across sectors including representatives from the LGA’s People and Places and City Regions Boards, wanted to understand what it takes to transform and regenerate places and the role that business, in partnership with other sectors including local government, can play in this. A variety of themes were explored, from what motivates business to engage in place-based regeneration, what barriers exist, and how local authorities and national government can work with business to encourage engagement.


Findings

In August 2021, the Taskforce launched its call for evidence into the role of business in place-based regeneration. This culminated in a set of key findings and recommendations which provide practical guidance to business, local and national government and existing place-based partnerships covering the role that business can play in improving social outcomes across the country.

1. Collaboration is essential

Local and cross-sector partnerships are the most effective medium for businesses to engage in place-based regeneration and levelling up. These partnerships should include business, local government, community organisations, educational institutions, and other local anchor organisations.

2. Business leadership drives successful partnership sand place-based transformation

Business leadership at a senior level is integral to tackling the key issues in a place.

3. The unique resources of each partner need to be leveraged

Different members of a partnership are likely to have a unique set of skills, relationships, and resources that need to be utilised to build effective partnerships and tackle the key issues in a place.

4. Central government needs to do more to involve business in levelling up 

The report outlines 12 core recommendations in relation to these four key findings.


LGA/BITC roundtable event

BITC and the LGA held a roundtable which explored the role of business and cross-sector partnerships in place-based regeneration. The session was co-hosted by Cllr Abi Brown and Cllr Simon Henig and provided an opportunity to bring the voices of local government leaders from across the country together on the agenda. There were three presentations given by Donna Nolan (Managing Director at Watford Borough Council), Lisa Dale-Clough (Head of Industrial Strategy at Greater Manchester Combined Authority) and Andrea Dell (Head of Bristol City Office). The speakers discussed the importance of collaborative and partnership working, leavers and measuring impact, and developing a strategy and vision. The discussion was used to inform the LGA’s response to BITC’s call for evidence.


Report

You can view and download the full report on BITC's website.