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1Levelling up Birmingham Œ Boosting the UK Levelling up Birmingham Œ Boosting the UK Prosperity and opportunity for allProsperity and opportunity for allBirmingham City Council™s Levelling Up Strategy Birmingham City Council™s Levelling Up Strategy Birmingham City Council™s Levelling Up Strategy Prosperity and opportunity for all
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1Foreword p2Summary: Levelling up and the Birmingham opportunity p4 Why Birmingham Defining levelling up Our vision and objectives Our strategy Our levelling up offer to governmentBirmingham City Council™s Levelling Up Strategy p12 What levelling up is and why it matters Our current need for levelling up Comparing Birmingham with other cities Inequalities within Birmingham Our challenges, opportunities and threats The strategy Our offer to central government Value to be delivered Appendices p44 Key indicators Existing plans and relationship with levelling up Case study: Three Cities RetrofitContents 231
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2Prosperity and opportunity for allBirmingham City Council™s levelling up strategy Councillor Ian Ward Leader of Birmingham City CouncilForeword We are in a time of great change . We are recovering from the pandemic and previously hidden impacts of Brexit are coming to the fore. Climate change poses the greatest threat of our time. The drive to reduce carbon emissions and the ongoing digital revolution will dramatically change the nature of our economy and the skills required to keep it growing. It means that we must think and act differently, shifting our emphasis from crisis to early intervention and prevention, investing in people and places and empowering communities by creating the conditions for success. Our vision of levelling up is rooted in the belief that we must encourage growth and stimulate investment in our city, whilst at the same time making Birmingham a fairer and more equal place. Economic growth makes it possible to tackle deep seated inequalities by giving more people access to good jobs and higher incomes. Levelling up must mean our citizens share in the economic longer, healthier and happier lives. This is a vision a commitment to empowering citizens to build our future.I am pleased to introduce Prosperity and opportunity for all: Birmingham City Council™s levelling up strategy . Birmingham is on the cusp of great things with exceptional opportunities for growth and economic development. The Commonwealth arrival towards the end of the decade provides long-term momentum for the city. Prior to COVID-19, the city was growing faster than the rest of the country, with record levels of inward investment and a pipeline of strategic sites for housing and employment. Birmingham presents a great investment opportunity. We must use the opportunity of growth to meet the challenge of levelling up: over 40% the rate of unemployment is currently well above the national average and significant and ingrained inequalities exist across the city. Too many people and communities are excluded from the benefits of our economy, often through deeply embedded inequalities that have been starkly highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The size of our city means the number of people facing disadvantages and who would benefit from levelling up is significant.
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3To achieve this will take a more strategic, joined up, long term and sustainable approach with leadership to bring together Birmingham City Council with its partners to make it happen. It can only be achieved by improving public services, renewing our local centres, boosting skill levels, enhancing connectivity and infrastructure, building more affordable homes, creating more green jobs, challenging discrimination and making the most of the tremendous diversity of our city. This strategy is an important step in setting our ambitions to level up Birmingham. But we cannot achieve this alone. We will engage and involve citizens and organisations to develop these ideas and reshape how we act together. We are committed to working constructively and collaboratively with central government and our key stakeholders. More resources and devolved powers will be needed, alongside stronger partnerships, joint ventures and commitments at scale and pace. This will unlock a golden decade of opportunity for our citizens with the impact felt for generations to come.I hope that you will join us on this journey. Boosting the UKLevelling up Birmingham
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4Summary: Levelling up and the Birmingham1opportunityWhy Birmingham Birmingham must be an essential part of any successful strategy for levelling up the country. As the country™s second largest city with a population of 1.15 million people1, Birmingham has the potential for a golden decade of opportunity ahead. Birmingham is at the epicentre of exceptional opportunities with the Commonwealth Games taking place next year, which we bid for and won. The Games provide unique prospects for our city and through its legacy programme. HS2 is already bringing investment and jobs now, but when it opens it will deliver a huge economic boost for the city and set a long-term positive direction. There are major developments that Birmingham City Council is bringing forward with partners including the £1.9bn Smithfield programme, the 42-acre Digbeth development, the Perry Barr plan, Peddimore and the Birmingham Health Innovation Campus.We are a global city with an economy larger than some countries. We are the nation within a city and the youngest and most diverse city, which is our strength and foundation for innovation. This combination of space for development, growing connectivity, and high levels of diversity and creative energy is a compelling argument for private sector investment. It also means that current and future public investment in Birmingham is working with the grain of powerful economic forces. It provides the foundation for levelling up in an economically and fiscally sustainable manner. Levelling up is both possible at scale in Birmingham and is an imperative, to overcome widespread, deep-rooted and long-term inequalities and enable everyone in Birmingham to share in the opportunities.
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6De˜ning levelling up There is no commonly agreed definition of levelling up. We have sought to outline what it means for We can trace our radical heritage of improving the Today, levelling up remains at the core of our ambitions for the city, we are actively levelling up, and Birmingham will be even bolder in its approach.For Birmingham, levelling up is about ‚people powered change™ interdependent with inclusive growth to deliver improved outcomes on key measures of economic and human development : Increasing the pace and scale of growth and embedding in an inclusive and sustainable way so all people and places share in the benefits including through a just transition to net zero A joined-up focus on people and places while bringing together organisations that can make a difference to build progress sustainably A bottom-up empowering of communities and citizens to improve their quality of life and their solutions Improving public services and social infrastructure and enhancing transport, digital and green infrastructure; and Moving the dial on the outcomes and opportunities for all citizens and all parts of the city, addressing spatial disparities and long- standing structural inequalities.Our vision and objectives Our vision for levelling up is to increase growth and harness it to create a fairer, stronger city, where all citizens share in the benefits, including through a just transition to net zero, where our citizens live longer, healthier and happier lives with opportunities to shape their own lives and communities, and we overcome long-standing inequalities such as child poverty. This means developing places where all residents regardless of their background, and especially those most in need, have the capabilities and access to shape and benefit from a good education, skills progression, fulfilling well-paid jobs, affordable and high-quality housing, effective public services, better health outcomes, high-quality and connected physical and digital infrastructure and a living environment, rich in culture, amenities and green open spaces.
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Prosperity and opportunity for all8Birmingham City Council™s levelling up strategy Our strategy Levelling up is woven through our core purpose and we are developing a series of key approaches to support this. We are developing an integrated placed-based levelling up model through the East Birmingham Inclusive Growth Strategy. East Birmingham, with a population of around 250,000, is larger than many cities and towns and has the highest levels of deprivation in our city6. This place-based approach involves bringing together local and regional bodies and national government, linking together funding where this is possible and developing projects to tackle the challenges. The focus includes addressing poor health, poor educational attainment, low skills and incomes, congestion and air pollution and bringing forward new homes, employment sites and community assets.
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9Our approach to levelling up will also involve challenging the deeply ingrained structural inequalities that determine the life chances available to different people and which creates divides across communities. We seek to take these inequalities head-on including how the council leads by example as an employer and how we develop a cohort of future leaders to ensure consistently diverse civic governance.We work closely with our partners across the West Midlands including with the Combined Authority, to invest and develop the transport, digital and green infrastructure as well as the skills and innovation programmes to boost our productivity and close the gap with London and the South-East. Growth with development the opposite of a zero-sum game. The success of Birmingham will generate a stronger regional economy and opportunities for levelling up way beyond the city boundaries, across the region and country at large.Our goal is to drive growth across the city , and we recognise that this is a critical driver of levelling up as it spurs sustainable jobs and business opportunities. We have been leading activity to secure investment and foster business growth bringing forward large development programmes. Connected to this is our wider commitment to inclusive growth and community wealth building to enable the benefits of growth to reach every corner of the city. This includes refocusing our procurement contracts on local businesses to help drive social value and retain wealth and employment in the city and to work with anchor organisations so public resources support local economic activity. Our approach will mean getting more from our assets, including land and property, to support local neighbourhoods and to provide the conditions for local business to thrive. We also are developing programmes to raise skill levels and connect people to opportunities.With Birmingham leading work to bring back public investment in Birmingham has a signi˜cant multiplier effect and represents good value for money for public investment for levelling up and which can join with that of the private sector. We are embedding an early intervention and prevention approach to empower people to achieve a better quality of life, build resilience and access learning and economic opportunities. at the point of acute need, to instead working at an early stage with citizens on co-designing to prevent crises from happening. It will help address deep-rooted issues, secure better outcomes, and enable citizens to have more control of their lives. The approach, embedded initially in adult social care, has begun to see results with bed-based admissions to care homes reducing by 20% since April 2018 and a 5% increase in independent living following an initial care assessment. The approach is saving costs to the collective public purse as crisis interventions are much more expensive. In social care, since 2018 costs of more £27m have been avoided. We have been applying the approach to vulnerable children, young people and their families too with the council funding targeted support services through voluntary, community and faith groups, a resilience fund for vulnerable families, an advice and guidance service, and additional mental health provision for young people aged 11 and above, as COVID-19 has led to a rise in mental health issues among young people. Results have included lower rates of children needing to go into care compared to other core cities7. 6 Indices of Deprivation, Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government (2019)7 DfE, Children in Care
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