Claire Ainsley, Executive Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, an independent organisation based in the North of England, said:
“The scale of investment by government to truly level up the country must match the scale of the challenge revealed in this report. Inequality between different regions is growing. For the 14 million people held back by poverty in the UK, this cannot be right.
“The government has an unparalleled opportunity to be ambitious in the size and scope of its investment in regional and local growth – but no eye-catching scheme or quick fix is going to loosen the grip of poverty across the UK.
“Boosting the Shared Prosperity Fund will deliver opportunities in the areas that need them most. We also need to see ambitious and sustained investment in truly affordable housing, transport between different regions, and our social security system so that families can stay afloat when times get tough. These are the foundations for secure and prosperous communities cross the UK and they must be a priority for the government’s levelling up agenda.”