‘Levelling Up’ in the era of COVID 19

Tipping the scales: the ‘Levelling Up’ agenda aims to spread economic growth and development across the country. Illustration by Katy Smith
June 24, 2020
United Kingdom
Levelling up

The UK government says it remains committed to ‘Levelling Up’ – but what does that look like in the era of COVID-19? How should the agenda evolve in response to the pandemic, and what actions will be required of public servants across central, regional and local government? Presenting in four panel discussions with senior public sector leaders and topical experts, this Global Government Forum online conference examined key aspects of the topic: strategy, civil service relocations, infrastructure, and the role of combined authorities.


  • Dr Nicola Headlam, former Head of Northern Powerhouse, BEIS
  • Chris Murray, Director, Core Cities Group
  • Tim Pitt, former Special Adviser at HM Treasury, Cabinet Office and Ministry of Justice
  • Katie Rose, Programme Manager, Centre for Public Impact
  • Philip Rycroft, former Permanent Secretary, Department for Exiting the European Union

Redistributing the civil service workforce


  • Steven Boyd, Chief Executive Officer, Government Property Agency, Cabinet Office
  • Ed Griffin, Director of HR Consultancy and Research, Institute for Employment Studies
  • Anna Round, Senior Research Fellow, IPPR North

Meeting the government’s goals on infrastructure provision


  • Angela Barnicle, Chief Officer for Asset Management and Regeneration, Leeds City Council
  • Maria Machancoses, Director, Midlands Connect
  • Greg McClymont, Assistant Director – Transport and Place, National Infrastructure Commission
  • Tim Wood, Northern Powerhouse Rail Director, Transport for the North

Bringing it all together: service delivery at the Combined Authority level


  • Professor Vincent Goodstadt, 2070 Commissioner and Vice-President of the Town and Country Planning Association
  • Dave Innes, Head of Economics, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Jonathan Werran, Chief Executive, Localis
  • John Wrathmell, Director of Strategy, Research and Economy, Greater Manchester Combined Authority