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ADEPT launch of Levelling Up for People and Place

On December 14th, ADEPT launched the outcomes of two closely related pieces of work – the Levelling Up for People and Place project and the Good Practice for Levelling Up document from the Excellence in Place Leadership (EiPL) programme.

Levelling Up for People and Place was jointly commissioned by ADEPT and its fellow professional organisations – the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH), the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) and the Local Government Association (LGA).

For some time, the joint associations have been working together to amplify their messages and to create a single voice on a range of key issues. A panel discussion between the joint Presidents at the ADEPT Autumn Conference 2021, discussed the crucial positive impact of place services and placemakers on public health and the futures of young people in our communities, as well as the environment and economy. As a result, it was agreed that a joint piece of work on the levelling up agenda and how it is being delivered locally in a holistic way, would be of real value.

Levelling up, as it is currently defined by the government has some critical gaps, most notably across the environment and climate. But it also offers a real opportunity to ensure multiple outcomes across the key areas of environment, economy, social inequality and health and wellbeing. Levelling Up for People and Place was created to demonstrate how local authorities are already making a difference on the ground and bringing together a broad range of service areas to do so.

The following table shows how we identified opportunities for levelling up work to ensure these multiple outcomes:

Table showing levelling up opportunities across people & place agendas










ADEPT has now launched a series of ten case studies and accompanying overview document which are available on the website. Each case study demonstrates what is being done by local government across the country and include:

  • The provision of new leisure facilities in Calderdale
  • Adapting to climate change in Cornwall
  • Reducing exclusions from secondary schools in East Sussex
  • Building natural capital in Greater Manchester
  • Helping to provide good jobs in the care sector in Leeds
  • Transforming the bus service in Milton Keynes
  • Improving parks and green spaces in Birmingham
  • Introducing green social prescribing in Surrey
  • Tower Hamlets’ approach to parks and green spaces
  • Retrofitting homes in the West of England Combined Authority

A joint letter highlighting the vital importance of local authorities to the delivery of the levelling up agenda, and making the case for joined up funding streams and resource has gone to the Secretary of State, Michael Gove.

In parallel with this work, the 2022 ADEPT / Amey Excellence in Place Leadership (EiPL) programme focused on the levelling up agenda. 'Good Practice for Levelling Up' brings together the content and feedback from these sessions to highlight what local government has learnt so far about levelling up locally. It draws on a different set of case studies and presents examples of local authorities that have shown leadership to shape their own goals and where they have formed partnerships to deliver change in their areas.

Case studies included in the document come from Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Norfolk County Council, Southend-on-Sea City Council and Tees Valley Combined Authority.

Three key areas of learning are featured in the report:

  • The need for strong local leadership to deliver levelling up and draw out the unique characteristics and ambitions of each place, which help to evoke the emotional investment needed to form effective partnerships for delivery.
  • The use of data and evidence to understand a place’s specific challenges to enable targeted interventions and provide essential feedback loops, as well as to be able to measure progress against the levelling up missions, which are set to be a statutory requirement.
  • Creating effective partnership environments to enable co-design and co-delivery approaches to levelling up.

The EiPL work also helped form the thinking behind ADEPT’s response to the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee inquiry into 'Funding for Levelling Up'. Our key message was that to deliver levelling up, local authorities are best supported by long term and secure funding via a streamlined and simplified funding landscape.

All the collateral will be used both individually by each Association and jointly in our work engaging with government and civil servants now and in the future. What we know is that the work is both essential and integral to what local authorities do and will continue to do, regardless of whether it’s termed levelling up.

Further information

  • Levelling up case studies and overview available here 
  • ADEPT press release on levelling up available here
  • Good Practice for Levelling Up is available here
  • Joint letter to Michael Gove, Secretary of State, available here
  • ADEPT response to Levelling Up, Housing & Communities Select Committee Inquiry into Levelling Up available here
  • Further information on the EiPL programme available here

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