Research by the Rural Services Network and economics consultancy Pragmatix showing that the Government’s Levelling Up Fund is leaving rural communities unfairly disadvantaged in comparison to ‘red wall’ areas
The report reveals the Government’s complex algorithms for allocating funds allows for disproportionate distribution across the UK.
It emphasises that ministers overrode civil servant guidance about how to allocate money, ruling out many rural towns with sparse populations in their catchment areas, in favour of more tightly packed urban areas.
Distorted measures of deprivation across the country are also highlighted by the report, whereby ministers used benefit claimant counts despite the natural lack of benefit claimants in rural areas where work is available, but wages are relatively low.
The report urges the Government to reconsider its measurements for fund allocations ahead of the launch of the Shared Prosperity Fund.
The Independent – Rural areas left out of Treasury’s levelling-up cash, report claims