| 1 min read
Levelling up and the everyday economy are two crucial concepts for understanding the direction of policy making in the UK, but the relationship between them has not yet been fully explored. Moreover, the UK's industrial and regional policies are woefully underdeveloped. This article suggests how levelling up and the everyday economy concepts could contribute to Labour's emerging industrial and regional policies. It argues that Labour is right to pursue an economic growth agenda, but must make growth work for communities and workers, and the everyday economy can help. The everyday economy can contribute to, and benefit from, local productivity growth, but regions still need companies that export or are at the technological frontier to raise demand, productivity and pay. Labour should work with the government's Levelling Up White Paper, but this was overly focussed on cities and knowledge intensive business services: there is an economic case for including towns and manufacturing too, and they should prioritise connecting places and sectors, building on the diverse strengths which different places can offer, and setting a long-term direction of travel. Over time, Labour should try to ensure that cities, towns and smaller communities are better connected, better coordinated and more specialised within larger regions. Labour should, therefore, set out an industrial and regional strategy; work up an economic development toolkit; and devolve economic powers to Mayoral Combined Authorities and councils.