Examination of Witness

Part of Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:47 am on 21st June 2022.

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Mairi Spowage:

There is a danger, depending on the sorts of the projects that are funded through the levelling-up and shared prosperity funds, that in devolved areas UK Government aims for what these projects might achieve will come into conflict with the aims of the devolved Government. It would make sense for the UK Government to engage with the devolved Governments, and indeed regional governments in England through combined and mayoral authorities, at the point at which they are making decisions.

It is made clear in the criteria around the shared prosperity fund that the local plans to be set out by areas across the country need to be cognisant of local strategies such as the national strategy for economic transformation in Scotland. They do set that out in the criteria for what the plans are going to fund, but I always think it makes sense for collaboration between different layers of government to ensure that the projects funded do not come into conflict with any ambitions that the Welsh Government, Scottish Government or the Northern Ireland Executive—when it can form—have for economic development in their nation, particularly when talking about spending in devolved areas.