Connected Places Podcast Episode 19: Connecting and Levelling Up in the UK: A conversation with Lord Kerslake

The Queen’s Speech this week – which sets out the UK Government’s legislative programme for Parliament – promised levelling up opportunities across all parts of the United Kingdom, supporting jobs, businesses and economic growth, as well as addressing the impact of the COVID pandemic on public services.

Levelling up the UK economy is an ambitious vision which goes to the heart of many of the structural and spatial challenges that towns and cities face. How do we create more jobs, growth and opportunities across the country, and not just in our largest cities or the South East corner of England? How can digitisation, the innovation economy and better connected places help us to address disparities between and within places? What next for devolution in a country that is still one of the most centralised in the world? And what do we need to do differently in the future to create a country that’s not just more connected, but also more competitive, resilient and sustainable?

In this episode the Chair of the Catapult, Prof. Greg Clark speaks to Lord Kerslake, Chair of the Peabody Group and formerly the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government, Head of the Civil Service and Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council and the London Borough of Hounslow. Lord Kerslake has worked at the highest levels of local and national government and in 2015 was made a cross-bench Peer in the House of Lords. 

Music on this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions and Phill Ward Music (

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Lord Kerslake
Show notes:

Find out more about the UK2070 Commission, an independent inquiry into city and regional inequalities, as well as policy and spatial issues related to levelling up and the UK’s long-term development.

You can also learn more about Laptops For Kids which Lord Kerslake mentions – the charity that facilitates the donation and distribution of used digital devices, enabling children from disadvantaged backgrounds to have access to the technology they need to participate in remote learning.

To register for the Catapult’s Third Thursday event ‘Supporting Local Authorities to reach Net Zero’ being held on the 20th May, click here.

To register for the Highways England Graffiti Competition Information Webinar, being held on 21st May, click here.

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