The UK2070 Papers – Series 6

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The Crook Public Service Fellowships at the University of Sheffield was established by Emeritus Professor ADH Crook. It provides opportunities for future leaders in public and not-for-profit sectors to immerse themselves in a collaborative project on a pressing policy issue or challenge – taking short periods away from their day job.

Each year, the Crook Public Service Fellowships focus on a particular theme that aligns with the strategic priorities and academic strengths of the University.

The recent Crook Fellowship Programme (University of Sheffield) centred around four key themes of the UK2070 Agenda for Action:

• Greater devolution of powers and funding including creating four new super-regional economic development agencies.

• Action to harness new technologies and strengthen local economies.

• A spatial plan to guide the future development of the whole of the UK.

• Long-term investment through a new National Renewal Fund to rebalance the economy over a 25-year period.

The Fellowship has given permission to publish two of the papers as part of Series 6 of the UK2070 papers.

Paper 6.1 by Daniel Timms and Aiden While, from Metro Dynamics, focuses on using a range of data sources to understand economic vulnerability. This will help policymakers to build resilience in places to economic shocks, and inform the investment that is needed to underpin this, linked with UK2070 Commission proposals for a National Renewal Fund.

Paper 6.2 by Zoë Billingham, Head of Policy and Engagement at the Centre for Progressive Policy, addresses the theme of greater devolution of powers and funding in the UK and will entail an analysis of its impacts on inequality. Addressing a key gap in evidence around the impacts of Mayoral combined authorities, she will seek to make concrete proposals as to what powers, accountabilities or funding should be devolved next. 

UK2070 Commission Integrated Rail Plan Inquiry – Call for Evidence

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The UK2070 Commission has called for a UK-wide Connectivity Strategy would make the UK one of the best-connected countries in the developed world. This is key to levelling up agenda. The key components of this include a network of connected cities; sustainable mass transit systems within all major urban areas; enhanced connectivity beyond to the marginalised communities.  This requires an integrated rail plan for the UK.  In order to help its inquiry into the continuing barriers to delivering this agenda it is making a call for evidence from all interested parties.

Any person or organisation interested in submitting evidence to the Uk2070 Commission should do so by 30th June 2022 to the following email address

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact

UK2070 Commissions Welcomes Publication Levelling Up White Paper

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Press Release : 02.02.2022

UK2070 Commission welcomes the publication of the Government’s plan for levelling up across the whole of the UK.

Lord Kerslake, chair, UK2070 Commission said:

“We welcome the Governments publication of Levelling Up White Paper today. The inequalities in economic performance and social conditions across the UK identified by the UK2070 Commission are now accepted by all parties. The momentum for change must however be built up and accelerated from these initial steps since there is no quick fix to the UK’s spatial disparities, which have continued to widen in recent years.

There needs to be a strong focus on meaningful devolution, giving local authorities and mayors across the country a greater say over the way their regions function,  and providing local solutions to the problems to levelling up. Whitehall deciding on the criteria and who receives funding just won’t work – hopefully today we begin to embrace that change.”

“Much more investment will be needed than is currently envisaged by the Government. This will need to be sustained over a long period of time. Without this, the ambitions of the White Paper are unlikely to be realised. Rebalancing the UK will bring enormous economic and social benefits that will more than justify the higher investment”.

The scale of analysis and the width issues addressed, ranging from creating global centres of excellence and closing the skills-gap, demonstrate the seriousness of the government’s intent. This is marked contrast from the fragmented deal-based policy approach which has frustrated past efforts to deliver change.

It is therefore hoped that this Levelling Up will allow a sustained approach across government election cycles.

The new delivery vehicles should help make government fit for purpose. The proposed strengthening of national leadership as well as further devolution is a recognition of the need to empower of local communities to take strategic action on infrastructure, skills and health. The proposed metrics should also allow action to be better planned, success can be measured and government held to account.

Therefore, the UK2070 Commission will be seeking to engage with the government and work with it to promote, develop and maintain the focus on transforming the social conditions and economic performance of the UK. We will be producing a detailed analysis and critique of the White paper drawing on the expertise in the Commission.

For further information Please visit

Social media @uk_2070



UK2070 New Year Message from the Chair, Lord Kerslake

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This time last year we were hoping that by now we would have seen the worst of the pandemic. However, a year on we are still coping with the fear of another wave of illness, prolonged social restrictions and great economic uncertainty.

The UK2070 Commission’s assessment on the impact of pandemic highlights three major concerns.

Firstly, the pandemic has laid bare the deep social inequalities in the UK that were described in our report ‘Make No Little Plans’. This has been so clearly demonstrated by the growth in foodbanks and the public debate about the loss of £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit that went to the poorest in our society.

Secondly, these inequalities have been deepened. This is not only reflected in take home pay [i] but also wealth. Whilst total UK wealth had increased during the course of the pandemic, the poorest households were more likely to have run down rather than increase their savings and not share in the house price boom.[ii]

And thirdly, the need for action has been made more urgent. Action is needed now to rebalance the economy. The Prime Minister had recognised this in his speech six months ago setting out his commitment to levelling up, but we still await the White Paper he promised.

We are looking to this to unleash action at scale that will unlock the economic potential not only of our great cities, like Liverpool and Bristol but also places such as Blackpool and Weston-Super-Mare. This needs to be at a scale to rebuild the social infrastructure of the UK to level up social conditions in terms of health, education and culture. This also needs to be aligned with comparable effort in Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast – that is across the whole of the UK.

The promised White Paper is therefore now urgently required and it must be more than a repackaging of old policies, a re-presenting of existing budget commitments or a reinforcing of Whitehall powers. It must enable fresh thinking and ideas, enhance resources for action and empower local leaders.

The work of the UK2070 Commission is now even more important. The rebalancing the UK socially and economically must be a national goal. The problems are now recognised and as the Prime Minister has stated these social inequalities are a national ‘disgrace’.[iii] Action must be taken now to transform rhetoric into action through a long term, forward – looking agenda to shape the future of the UK.

Responsibility lies not just with the government for action. It also lies with local leaders, arms length bodies, NGOs and communities. Government, local leaders and all parties need to sign up to a Shared Declaration of Intent for building a fairer, stronger and more sustainable future for all in the UK and to start now with urgency to implement the programme of action.

[i] Wages in the North were lower than the rest of England before the pandemic and these fell further during the COVID-19 pandemic (from £543.90 to £541.30 per week) whereas wages increased in the rest of the country (from £600.80 to £604.00 per week).


[iii] it is an outrage that a man in Glasgow or Blackpool has an average of ten years less on this planet than someone growing up in Hart in Hampshire or in Rutland Source July 2021 speech

UK2070 Teesside Taskforce ‘Report of Findings’ and ‘Background Technical Report

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Further helping realise the future potential of the Tees Valley

The UK2070 Commission today publishes the Teesside Taskforce Paper of  ‘Report of Findings’ and ‘Background Technical Report’

The Teesside Taskforce was established by the UK2070 Commission to work with the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority to support the long-standing aspirations for a major increase in the number and quality of job opportunities in Tees Valley, alongside enhancing the wellbeing of people who live in Teesside. its Report on Findings, published today, sets out immediate opportunities for reinforcing current initiatives.

This sets out a framework for Tees Valley to Go Big in delivering Green Growth, across the Tees Valley strengthening the national role of Tees Valley and building on the local distinctiveness and growing interdependencies of Teesside’s main towns.

The report sets out how these ambitions could be accelerated by the immediate implementation of programmes to tackle Green Fuel Poverty, level up access to job opportunities, transform the living conditions of the most disadvantaged communities and create a Global Centre of Excellence around the university and new industries.

The report demonstrates that the opportunities in Teesside are considerable but so also are the challenges.


Lord Kerslake, Chair of the UK2070 Commission, said:

“Delighted to publish UK2070 Teesside Taskforce ‘Report of Findings’ and ‘Background Technical Report’.

I was pleased to chair a formal Teesside Taskforce session earlier this year, with Teesside University hosting the UK2070 Commission. This is the culmination of extensive consultation across the whole of Teesside. Evidence was provided by Mayor Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Combined Authority, Teesside University, Industry partners and international submissions from South Africa.

I wanted to thank everyone, especially Mayor Houchen, the Combined Authority and Teesside University, for their support of this Teesside Taskforce publication.”


Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said:

“We have an unprecedented opportunity right now to transform Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, level up our communities, drive growth and create good-quality, well-paid jobs for local people generations to come.

I welcome UK2070 Commission Teesside Taskforce report and thank Lord Kerslake for his visits to the region and the work he and others have put into this report. It’s a welcome endorsement of the huge strides we are making and the big opportunities I’m highlighting, and points to some of the biggest opportunities for future jobs, investment, and growth in the region.

For example, I welcome its argument that Teesside is the best place for the UK’s first hydrogen village. This kind of ambitious thinking will deliver a brighter future for local people as we spearhead the UK’s green industrial revolution.”


Teesside University Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Paul Croney said:

“As an anchor institution with a civic mission, Teesside University takes an uncompromising approach to levelling-up opportunity. This can only be achieved with cooperation and collaboration; the time is now to work together and deliver real change.

Universities are engines of innovation and impact. I am delighted to see this evidenced within the Commission’s findings and wholeheartedly support the recommendation to establish a Centre of Excellence in the Tees Valley.  From supporting the growth of the economy, to delivering the transition to net zero, Teesside University will continue to contribute the knowledge, skills and insight to develop solutions that shape the future, today.”



Teesside University welcomes UK2070 Commission taskforce to tackle regional inequality

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Those at the forefront of levelling-up opportunity for the Tees Valley have gathered at Teesside University for an important summit designed to help tackle regional inequality and provide additional opportunities for jobs and growth.

The UK2070 Commission’s Teesside Taskforce, held a formal evidence session at Teesside University this week, where it heard how areas including freeports, steel, hydrogen and the wider net zero agenda can provide a boost for the region.

It comes in the days after Teesside University was named as the top university in the country for social inclusion, highlighting the institution’s work to embrace social mobility and encourage greater participation in higher education from underrepresented groups.

The UK2070 Commission, chaired by Lord Kerslake, is an independent inquiry into national and regional inequalities in the UK. Its aim is to illustrate the potential for change and identify an agenda of action to deliver it.

Last year, as part of the Commission, a Teesside Taskforce was set up to examine how certain sectors could increase quality job opportunities in the region and ultimately enhance people’s prospects and wellbeing.

Teesside University has already contributed several pieces of evidence for the Teesside Taskforce and has been working in partnership with the Commission to develop actions around the levelling up agenda. Professor Stephen Cummings, Pro Vice-Chancellor, (Research and Innovation) at Teesside University contributed to the evidence session.

It also included feedback from the likes of Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and CEO of the Materials Processing Institute Chris McDonald, who have been instrumental in the Teesside Taskforce. A final report will now be published and shared with Government as part of the UK2070 Commission.

Teesside University Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Paul Croney, said:  “I was delighted to welcome Lord Kerslake and the UK2070 Commission to Teesside University for this important session.

“As an anchor institution with a civic mission, Teesside University takes an uncompromising approach to levelling-up opportunity. This can only be achieved with cooperation and collaboration, and we have welcomed the work of the Teesside Taskforce in galvanising this critical activity.

“As the UK seeks to build back better, it has never been so important for the voice and experience of the regions to be reflected in national policy and decision-making. Teesside University will continue to contribute the knowledge, skills and insight to develop solutions that shape the future, today.”

The report from the Teesside Taskforce advised that the scale of change needed to transform the Tees Valley requires productivity and employment to increase by 10% and the rate of innovation to double.

The Taskforce recommends the development of a regional Clean Growth Strategy and vision that rejects the narrative around ‘left behind towns’ and builds on the ambitions of the Tees Valley and opportunities such as Freeports, investment in Net Zero and Treasury North.

Lord Kerslake, Chair of the UK2070 Commission, said: “I was pleased to chair this formal Teesside Taskforce session and thank you Teesside University for hosting the UK2070 Commission. This is the culmination of extensive consultation across the whole of Teesside. Evidence was provided by Mayor Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Combined Authority, Teesside University, Industry partners and international submissions from South Africa.

“Further helping realise the future potential of the Tees Valley, whilst reducing inequality, I wanted to thank everyone, especially Mayor Houchen and the Combined Authority, for their support.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We have an unprecedented opportunity right now to transform Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, level up our communities, drive growth and create good-quality, well-paid jobs for local people generations to come. I was pleased to welcome Lord Kerslake to the region and give evidence as to how we can achieve our ambitions, ambitions that will deliver a brighter future for local people as we spearhead the UK’s transition to being a net zero nation by 2050.”

Chris McDonald, CEO of the Materials Processing Institute, said: “I am pleased to have been invited to give formal oral evidence to the UK2070 Commission on their independent enquiry into national and regional inequalities.  As part of the UK2070 Teesside Task Force, I will be focussing on how we can realise the future potential of the Tees Valley, creating jobs and growth, whilst reducing inequality.”

David Whysall, Managing Director of UK Infrastructure, Turner & Townsend, said: “Turner & Townsend has a long-standing commitment to the Teesside region and its people, having been established in Darlington 75 years ago. We fully support the aims of the UK2070 Commission and the Teesside Taskforce and are pleased contribute to today’s evidence session. From freeports to hydrogen and net zero, there are some fantastic opportunities in the region, but they need to be harnessed in the right way to ensure that the social, environmental and economic benefits are felt by everyone on Teesside.”

Dr Rebecca Maserumule, Department of Science & Innovation,
Republic of South Africa Chief Director and Member of the Green Hydrogen Commercialization Ministerial Panel said:

“We congratulate the transformational work that Lord Kerslake, the UK2070 Commission and the Teesside Taskforce is embarking on.

“The Teesside Taskforce, in particular, has created the pathway for local-to-global collaboration that will catapult the built-back-better agenda to the level of international co-operation and trade. Turner & Townsend, part of the legacy of the Darlington economic landscape, has used its international reach to connect our Department, Gauteng and Limpopo Provinces with the UK and specifically Teesside Valley.

“An ethos that we invoke from the African Proverb ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’.

“We look forward to collaborating with UK2070 Commission & it’s partnerships across the UK.”

Stephen McCartney, Managing Director of Turner & Townsend Africa, said:
“Turner & Townsend commends the UK 2070 Commission and Teesside Taskforce on making such a fundamental contribution to socio-economic development and social impact. This will herald a new economic renaissance for the UK market.

“With our pan-African purview, we look forward to supporting partners in Africa, like the Department of Science & Innovation in Republic of South Africa, to connect with industry players and Government stakeholders. Economic Reconstruction in South Africa, and an Africa Rising agenda supported by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), make the region an perfect partner with the UK to secure a new sustainable future for our economies. We look forward to supporting the UK2070 Commission and the Teesside Taskforce.”


Editors Notes:

Further details can be found here


The UK2070 Commission is an independent inquiry into city and regional inequalities in the UK. Chaired by Lord Kerslake, it has been set up to conduct a review of the policy and spatial issues related to the UK’s long-term city and regional development.

The UK2070 Commission has set up a Task Force in support of the long-standing aspirations for the wellbeing of the Teesside.

This will depend upon a major increase in number and quality of employment opportunities in the region.

As highlighted in the findings of UK2070 Commission, this is critical to delivering the levelling up of social conditions and lifetime prospects of the communities in the Teesside. This is also of national importance to the economic future of the UK in recalibrating the capacity, performance, and resilience to risk of all its major regions, including the Teesside.

Media contacts:

Gary Martin:

Communications Manager, Teesside University, 07557 082 810.

Michael S Henson:

Turner & Townsend, 07514 738044


Statement: Lord Kerslake, Chair of the UK2070 Commission

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Levelling Up: Meeting the Challenge

The inequalities in economic performance and social conditions across the UK are now accepted by all parties as being unacceptable and shame on this country. The Prime Minister’s speech on 15th July, set out the steps the Government is taking to level up the UK, especially given the impact of the pandemic. The momentum for change must however be built up and accelerated from these initial steps since there is no quick fix to the UK’s spatial disparities.

Inequality operates at two levels – regional inequalities arising from the imbalanced economic development of the UK and the acute deprivation hotspots in areas of economic growth. These two challenges are being conflated with the risk of failing to address the core purpose of the levelling-up policy. Clarity is needed about the levelling up agenda in order to provide the confidence to local communities, leaders and long-term investors, namely to rebalance the economic geography of the UK.

Central to this is the need to recognise that, as the Prime Minster made clear, levelling up is not a zero-sum game. As demonstrated by the work of the UK2070 Commission – ‘Uplifting the north, Uplifts the south’. Not only will levelling up raise overall productivity in the UK but also it will reduce pressure on overheated housing markets in London and the wider south east of England.

Nor should levelling up be reduced to a town v cities debate. There is no doubt that many of our towns need a greater focus than they have had. However, the cities have a pivotal role to play. Without their success it is hard to see our towns succeeding.

Levelling up also needs to be seen as contributing to the global role of the UK, attracting inward investment and talent. It can be likened to changing from flying a plane with one big, highly strained engine (London and the South East) to one with multiple and distributed engines, increasing the overall capacity of the UK for growth and give it greater resilience to future global shocks.

The very depth of inequalities across the UK however means that national prescribed solutions are not appropriate. The levelling-up must be delivered through local leadership supported nationally, through local strategic bodies with access to and control of funds, as catalysts for external funds and in convening collaborative action with private partners. The push towards greater devolution in the Prime Minister’s speech is welcome.

Levelling-up policy must address the diversity of the needs of places suffering from: the legacy of deindustrialisation; stagnating earnings and incomes; or growing inequalities life chances requiring a focus on health, education and social mobility. Nothing less than large scale, comprehensive and long-term aligned action across the whole UK will deliver levelling-up.

The UK2070 Commission has set out a 10-Point plan to translate the rhetoric of levelling up into programmes of action with clear targets, for not only improving productivity but also levelling-up access to Job Opportunities: and Basic Services, and enhancing Environmental Conditions and social mobility. This includes changing the way things are done, and seen to be done. In effect this means ‘Changing the Rulebook, building on the experiences of creating successful places. The UK2070 Commission therefore undertaking work to demonstrate these principles, through Task Forces in Teesside and other areas.

A collective public and private commitment is required to transform policy into action that will shape the future of the UK over the next 25 years. The UK2070 Commission will be responding in full to the Prime Minister’s call for views on delivering this new deal for the future of the UK.

Thank you,

Lord Kerslake
Chair, UK2070 Commission

End of Year Message from UK2070 Commission Chair, Lord Kerslake

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First of all, I want to thank everybody who has helped the UK2070 Commission over the last year.

The health and economic consequences of COVID-19 have understandably dominated most of the year. We were fortunate to launch our Third and what we thought would be our Final Report at the end of February, before the pandemic took hold.

Despite the dominance of COVID-19, we have been able to make good progress on work to highlight the spatial inequalities of the UK and measures needed to address them. COVID-19 has made ‘levelling up’ harder but also more urgent.

The continued engagement of the commissioners, our partner universities and our other supporters has meant that we have been able to keep the debate going.

As a result, the UK2070 Commission has been able to sustain its pressure for change through a wide range of activities including:

  • In October undertaking a major assessment of the impact of COVID-19, by publishing Go Big – Go Local: The UK2070 Report on a New Deal for Levelling Up the United Kingdom, which confirmed that coronavirus had exacerbated regional inequality divides, and called for the implementation of our 10 Point Action Plan, including a step change in the devolution of powers and funding;
  • Engaging with government and parliamentary committees on the need to re-shape industrial strategy, infrastructure priorities and the planning system to deliver the levelling up agenda; and
  • Supporting others who are equally committed to building a better future, ranging from the Commission on the College of the Future re-shaping skills and the FE agenda, to endorsing the work of leading universities in their research agenda and civic engagement.

We are committed to sustaining our efforts in 2021. Amongst other things this will include:

  • Promoting a series of local Task Forces to make local the 10-Point Action Plan. We have already started on Teesside and are in advanced discussions with other strategic alliances;
  • Contributing to the United Nations Climate Change (COP26) Conference discussions to ensure that a ‘spatially just’ transition to zero-carbon is at the top of the agenda; and
  • Continuing to work with government, to ensure their commitment to a green recovery plan and locally-led action is not undermined by short-term, underfunded and micro-managed programmes.

So please watch this space, both here on our website and on our Twitter feed; and furthermore, please continue to contribute by contacting us at

Thank you,

Lord Kerslake
Chair, UK2070 Commission

Northern Powerhouse Partnership and UK2070 Commission call for greater role for Mayors to lead Fourth Industrial Revolution

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  • Lord Kerslake calls for ‘levelling up’ role to be given to a Cabinet Minister
  • Fourth Industrial Revolution in the North of England could unlock thousands of skilled, future-ready jobs in green sectors and industries key to increasing productivity

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) and the UK2070 Commission are together calling for Metro Mayors to be given a greater say in leading the UK’s recovery from COVID-19, including of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the North of England.

Ahead of the 2020 Spending Review on Wednesday 25th November, NPP director Henri Murison and Chair of the UK2070 Commission The Right Honourable The Lord Kerslake, will each call for clarity on the plan for levelling up, alongside targeted investment in industries that increase productivity.

They will tell the House of Commons’ Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee on Tuesday 24 November (10.30am start) that the UK’s recovery must focus on devolving more powers to locally-elected leaders and allowing them to upskill the workforce in key industries of the future, including advanced manufacturing, digital and green energies.

These sectors could hold the key to solving the UK’s productivity crisis that lies at the root of both the North-South divide, and wider regional inequalities across England.

While the Prime Minster has maintained that levelling up remains a top priority, Lord Kerslake will say that there is still no sign of a plan and that the government must appoint a dedicated Cabinet member and committee to ensure they deliver on election promises.

In October, the UK2070 Commission found that COVID-19 has exacerbated the UK’s economic dependency on London and the wider South East of England, calling for a £375bn 25-year New Deal strategy for a ‘just recovery’ to offset:

  • The £4bn a year gap in research and development investment, through creating at least four global centres of science and technology outside the UK’s so called ‘Golden Triangle’.
  • The £20bn per year cost of poor local connectivity, through major investment in transit systems in all major towns – and about 1,000 miles of new, upgraded and electrified main railway lines and services to more remote communities.

Last month, the UK2070 Commission set up the UK2070 Teesside Taskforce to support the creation of better-quality, skilled job opportunities in the North East of England, through investment in freeports, steel, hydrogen and the wider net-zero agenda.

Mr Murison will be speaking at The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), a world-leading research and innovation institution with more than 120 industrial partners.

The AMRC is part of The University of Sheffield and it is also one of the national High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres – a world-leading hub for manufacturing companies, academia and government to drive improvements across multiple industries; whether aerospace, energy, construction or rail.

The AMRC Training Centre in Rotherham provides apprenticeship training to students aged 16 and over through partnerships with both SMEs and global brands, including Boeing, Rolls-Royce and McLaren.

Mr Murison will highlight the role that companies like Sheffield Forgemasters can play in developing world-leading Small Modular Reactor technologies (SMR), with the potential to form a vital role in decarbonising the UK’s energy strategy and closing the power deficit.

In its recent Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, the UK Government announced £215 million funding for the UK SMR Consortium led by Rolls-Royce. The consortium comprises nine companies and research organisations, including the Nuclear AMRC – the AMRC’s sister centre, also part of the University of Sheffield – and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

The consortium aims to have its first power station in operation in the early 2030s, with the development programme creating around 6,000 jobs by 2025. By value up to 80 per cent of the power station’s components will be made in factories in the North of England and the Midlands.

Sheffield Forgemasters received funding from the government in 2019 to build a large-scale Bost five-axis Vertical Turning Lathe and a Bost RAM Boring Machine, the first of their kind in the UK, which combined with the company’s depth of manufacturing skill for civil nuclear projects, delivers a significant technological advantage in this market.

SMRs are potentially faster to manufacture, safer and easier to decommission than large nuclear power plants and, by keeping the supply chain in the UK, will create more skilled green jobs in the economic recovery.

Lord Kerslake said: “While we’ve seen plenty of warm words about levelling up, we still need a plan for devolution of further fiscal powers.”

“Central and regional government both have a part to play in delivering this agenda. We need a dedicated cabinet member and committee, working alongside Metro Mayors across the Western Gateway, the Midlands Engine and the Northern Powerhouse, to build a comprehensive plan for economic rebalancing.”

“The UK is one of the most centralised, imbalanced, developed countries in the world and this has a serious detrimental impact on our ability to drive economic growth. Recovery post COVID-19 will only take place once we realise that.”

Henri Murison said: “Unlocking the North of England’s true economic potential through accelerating decarbonisation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution is not only crucial to closing the North-South divide, it is essential to recovery across the whole of the UK.”

“The North’s vast economic assets are still hugely underutilised but through sustained investment in sectors such as off-shore wind, hydrogen and SMRs; alongside targeted, locally-led skills programmes; we can build back better in some of the areas worst-hit economically by COVID-19.”

“We need to invest in both infrastructure and people to deliver this vision, upskilling and reskilling the workforce in highly-productive industries and sustainable energies that drive economic growth across the whole of the country.”

UK2070 Commission Launches Teesside Taskforce

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The UK2070 Commission – an independent inquiry into regional inequalities in the UK chaired by The Right Honourable The Lord Kerslake – today officially launched the UK2070 Teesside Taskforce.

The Taskforce will work in support of the UK2070 Commission’s long-standing aspirations for a major increase in the number and quality of job opportunities in the region, alongside enhancing the wellbeing of people who live in Teesside.

The Teesside Taskforce will look in particular at the potential of freeports, steel, hydrogen and the wider net zero agenda to boost opportunity for people from across the Tees Valley.

In order to help the Taskforce, the UK2070 Commission is making a Call for Evidence from all interested parties on four key issues:

  • The key issues facing Teesside, whether they be economic, social, environmental and political.
  • The main opportunities for the Teesside area.
  • The resource and institutional requirements needed to tackle the problems and release the opportunities.
  • Discovering what successful projects and initiatives have been developed in Teesside that might be replicated.

Submissions should be made in response to the Terms Of Reference and our Call For Evidence by Friday 4th December 2020, with the findings of the Taskforce being submitted by spring 2021 to the Tees Valley Combined Authority; to the Mayor of Tees Valley, Ben Houchen; and to the UK Government.

Evidence may be submitted by emailing

The UK2070 Teesside Taskforce will be further supported by a Taskforce Steering Group comprised of local business and academic representatives, and representatives from both the Department for International Trade and the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Lord Kerslake said:

“I am delighted to make this announcement today with Mayor Houchen, on the formation of the UK2070 Teesside Taskforce. This is the first of a series of UK2070 Taskforces that will focus on places. This Taskforce will look in particular at the potential of freeports, steel, hydrogen and the wider net zero agenda. The Commission welcomes the opportunity to understand and learn from the Teesside Taskforce programme.”

The Mayor of Tees Valley, Ben Houchen said:

“It is absolutely essential that we boost the Tees Valley’s economy, that’s why I have put freeports, green steel making and carbon capture technologies at the centre of my plan for jobs – a plan that is delivering good quality well paid jobs for people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool right now.
I welcome the UK2070 Commission’s Teesside Taskforce and its’ focus on our region, and I look forward to telling them about my plans to create jobs. As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever that we secure the investment that will create the jobs we all want to see come to our region, so that local people can have more money in their pockets for them and their families.”

Lord Kerslake further commented:

“The Taskforce is a logical development from our most recent report, Go Big Go Local, which looked at the ‘levelling up’ agenda in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will draw together proposals to help create sustained new investment and open up new market opportunities through both existing programmes and new initiatives and funding streams. The opportunity to apply the ideas of the UK2070 Commission in specific places is an exciting one. The Teesside Taskforce will be a pioneer of this new approach.”

Jacob Young MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hydrogen, said:

“As Chair of the APPG on Hydrogen and Member of Parliament for Redcar, I’m delighted to see the formation of the UK2070 Teesside Taskforce with a commitment to study hydrogen and the net zero agenda. The UK2070 Teesside Taskforce is being launched at a crucial time and demonstrates the anticipation from political leaders, policymakers, and local businesses to support net-zero targets. I look forward to working with the Taskforce to create jobs and grow the local economy in Teesside.”

Chris McDonald, Chief Executive Officer of the Materials Processing Institute, said:

“As an advocate for the Green Industrial Revolution, I welcome the news that the UK2070 Commission are creating a Teesside Taskforce to focus on areas such as green steelmaking and net zero carbon technologies. I am pleased to be joining the Taskforce and to contribute my personal expertise in support of developing these industries in Teesside and for the UK.”