Editor: With such altruistic ambition covering a broad range of areas in the government’s Levelling Up White Paper, can the promises really become a reality?

The white paper’s vision is a hopeful one. Of course, a number of areas are most prevalent to built environment professionals, including the focus on bringing local public transport systems in line with London standards and the rejuvenation of town centres.

As an industry, we naturally have a key role in physically building this future and will be a critical support to public sector bodies leading on the work. But every aim set out is interlinked, so construction must consider how we affect every area.

Many of the missions laid out by government cover elements often identified within industry social value measurements. Social value is not a new concept and the focus on it is growing in the construction industry particularly, holding greater weighting in bids and tenders.

Advancing connectivity, transport links, education and training opportunities and overall infrastructure all co-ordinate to improve overall quality of life, which in turn should reduce anti-social behaviour and increase life expectancy. These ‘softer’, more qualitative outcomes are by no means less important than the revenue a project can generate – and these elements of social value must work hand in hand with each other to build a positive future.

When it comes to delivering the vision of a levelled-up UK, the approach will be key – and the critical point will be funding and budgets. It will take a localised attitude to make sure any funds are spent on the right things in the right places at the right time.

There is a clear vision for creating a positive future for everyone in the UK, unhindered by where they live. Collaboration will be key, and actions must span across all industries to create a cohesive attitude that makes sure our efforts complement each other. We must collectively hold each other accountable for managing and monitoring success on the journey towards that ultimate goal of a rebalanced UK.

Alastair Hamilton, partner at Pick Everard