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Yorkshire Times
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7:00 AM 12th July 2021
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Prime Minister To Set Out Plans To Level Up The Country

Prime Minister set to make a speech this week on plans to level up and unite the country
Great British high streets to be central to new strategy to regenerate local communities and turbocharge new opportunities across the UK
Renewed focus on boosting local businesses with permanent al fresco dining, support for grassroots football, and takeaway pints to continue for 12 months

The Prime Minister will set out the steps the government will take to deliver on the central purpose of his premiership - to level up and unite the United Kingdom.

The regeneration of the great British high street will form a key part of the Prime Minister’s speech next week, with a new High Streets Strategy to revolutionise local communities and support them to thrive.

Al fresco dining will become the norm, with pavement licences to be extended and then made permanent, making it easier and cheaper for pubs, restaurants and cafes to set up tables outside and serve more customers.

Takeaway pints will continue for another 12 months as the temporary permissions for off-sales of alcohol are extended. This will give a further boost to the hospitality industry as local residents enjoy a great British summer together outdoors.

As England faced Italy in the Euro 2021 final, the government renewed its commitment to support local sports teams as a central part of levelling up opportunities for all.

£25m has been committed to build new grass roots sports facilities, equivalent to 50 new artificial pitches, to ensure that all football fans have the chance to play their favourite sport.

In his speech, the Prime Minister will vow to tackle the inequalities and divisions that the pandemic has entrenched and make sure not to repeat the mistakes of the recovery from the financial crash of 2008.

He will talk about creating a more balanced economy with great jobs in every part of the UK; levelling up between generations; increasing access to opportunity no matter where you live; investing in infrastructure and skills; strengthening community and local leadership; restoring pride in place; and putting local needs at the heart of the government’s approach.

The speech will kick off a summer of engagement seeking views and input ahead of publication of the White Paper in the Autumn.

A Government spokesperson 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 is distributed evenly across this country, opportunity is not.

"That’s why as we emerge from the pandemic, it’s vital that we do not make the mistakes of recovery from the financial crash and seize this moment to ensure a better quality of life for people in every part of the UK."