I’ll make Britain fairer for all: Boris Johnson is set to announce more funding for grassroots sports facilities and measures to boost high streets as part of his post-Covid ‘levelling-up’ agenda
The Prime Minister will set out his vision of a post-Covid Britain this week as he reveals details of his flagship ‘levelling-up’ agenda to boost the country’s most disadvantaged areas.
Boris Johnson is expected to build on the England team’s success in Euro 2020 by announcing funding for more grassroots sports facilities, as well as measures to boost struggling high streets and cement into national life the continental-style alfresco dining culture which expanded as a side-effect of Covid restrictions.
Mr Johnson will use a speech this week to hone his own political credo of ‘Johnsonism’, defined by sources as a ‘vow to tackle the inequalities and divisions that the pandemic has entrenched’, by creating a more balanced economy, fewer income disparities between the generations and increased career opportunities across the country.
The Prime Minister will set out his vision of a post-Covid Britain this week as he is set to reveal measures to boost struggling high streets (pictured: Bold Street in Liverpool)
He will also announce a boost to investment in skills training, more devolved leadership and his determination to restore a sense of ‘pride in place’.
The levelling-up agenda is seen within No 10 as being key to retaining the Red Wall seats in the Midlands and North that were central to Mr Johnson winning his majority in the 2019 General Election.
However, the policy of ploughing money into transport and infrastructure projects in the North has unsettled many shire Tory areas in the party’s southern heartlands.
Conservatives there worry they are being taken for granted and could end up being ‘levelled down’.
They also fear that the policy could lead to mass housebuilding on greenbelt land, which contributed to the party’s shock loss of the previously safe seat of Chesham and Amersham last month.
The plans have caused consternation at the Treasury, which is concerned about the cost of the proposals coming on top of the £400billion bill created by emergency measures to tackle the Covid crisis.
Boris Johnson (pictured) is also expected to build on the England team’s success in Euro 2020 by announcing funding for more grassroots sports facilities
Mr Johnson’s speech is expected to include the promise that outside dining will become the norm, with pavement licences being made permanent and regulations eased to allow pubs, restaurants and cafes to set up tables outside.
Takeaway pints will be permitted for a further 12 months.
The Prime Minister will also pledge £25 million for new sports facilities – equivalent to 50 new artificial football pitches.
The Government will consult on the plans before publishing a White Paper this autumn.
A Government spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister is determined to level up the UK and deliver a fairer, stronger society – one where whatever your background and wherever you live, everyone can access the opportunities they need to succeed.
‘While talent and potential are distributed evenly across this country, opportunity is not.’