Which regions receive the most levelling up funding?

19 January 2023
What was claimed

London and the South East will receive more levelling up funding than more deprived regions such as the North East and Yorkshire and The Humber.

Our verdict

This is true when we look at headline figures, but when we look at funding per person, London was awarded less than the North East and Yorkshire. The South East was awarded less than the North East, but slightly more than Yorkshire.

In the wake of the second round of government levelling up funding being announced on Wednesday, a number of papers including the Guardian and the Times reported that London and the South East had received more funding than more deprived parts of the country. 

The Times said: “The southeast will be handed more regeneration money today than the northeast, Yorkshire and the East and West Midlands, with red wall MPs accusing the government of “making a mockery” of levelling up.”

Meanwhile the Guardian said: “The funding round has prompted questions around the fairness of the allocations [...] Labour analysis shows that London, which gets £151m, is getting more than both Yorkshire (£121m) and the north-east (£108m), while the south-east (£210m) is the second biggest recipient, allocated nearly twice as much as the north-east.” 

While this is true, neither of these articles note that funding awarded per person in the South East and London is, by and large, below the level in other areas—though it should be noted the South East was allocated slightly more per person than Yorkshire.  

The Times does include a breakdown of funding per person by local authority area in a table, but this does not allow for regional comparisons. 

London is due to receive £151 million in levelling up funding. The London population is around 8.8 million people, so the funding equates to around £17.20 per person. 

The South East has been awarded £210 million. With an estimated population of 9.3 million people, this equates to about £22.70 per capita.

These regions received the lowest and third-lowest allocation per person across the UK. 

The second-lowest per person allocation is in Yorkshire and the Humber, at £22 per person (with a total allocation of £120.6 million). This means it is correct that the South East received more per person than Yorkshire but London did not.

Meanwhile, Wales received the highest per-person allocation of £67, with the nation being allocated £208 million

Full Fact has contacted the Times and the Guardian for comment. 

Image courtesy of Ryan Booth

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